Sam Edgerley's persistence and switch of positions have paid off as he prepares to make a long-awaited England debut in the next leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Tokyo.
The 20-year-old from Chobham in Surrey was a prolific try scorer at junior level, winning caps for England's Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 teams.
But his role is now to create as well as score as a scrumhalf in Sevens and a No.9 in the 15-a-side game with new club Rosslyn Park, where he works on his passing skills with hundreds of repetitions off either hand.
He comes into the England squad for his first World Series tournament to replace Isoa Damudamu with first day matches against hosts Japan, France and Hong Kong champions Fiji on the horizon this Saturday.
Edgerley said: "I'm really excited - I've spent a long time training with England Sevens since last February.
“I had a big pre-season since August and been training all the way through with the boys, I've seen a lot of selections and not been picked a lot of times so it felt great to be picked."
A Classics student at University College London, he played for London Irish and Esher, winning the player of the tournament accolade at last year's Middlesex Sevens and appearing for England in the FIRA AER European GP Sevens in Bucharest.
“I played wing for my whole schoolboy career and signed a contract with London Irish straight after school as a wing and then came to the Sevens and realised Sevens was what I really wanted to do," he said.
“I had some chats with Ben [Ryan, the England head coach] and he saw me more as a scrumhalf. I was with Esher at the start of this season as a wing and half-way through the season I've moved to Rosslyn Park as a scrumhalf and I'm really enjoying it down there.
“I get on well with the coach Jan Bonney and he's been helping me out a lot with scrum half skills along with Ben.
“As a scrumhalf in Sevens, as opposed to running in the tries, I have to use my feet and then use a long pass to the speedsters like [Dan] Norton, so I've worked on my pass a lot.
“I've been in to Rosslyn Park every day to do 200 passes off each hand, and the thing that Ben talks about a lot is the tempo of the game, knowing when to raise the tempo, lower the tempo and control the game."
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