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England Rugby Sevens squad pay a special visit to patients before Christmas

19 December 2017

The England Sevens squad took time out of their busy training schedule this week to bring some festive cheer to patients and staff at West Middlesex University Hospital.

The England Sevens squad took time out of their busy training schedule this week to bring some festive cheer to patients and staff at West Middlesex University Hospital.

The squad, who have just returned from Cape Town as part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, delivered gifts to children and adult patients during a visit to the hospital's wards. 

Faces throughout the hospital lit up during the visit—with the team stopping to see patients as young as 12 days old, along with their families, to those aged up to 104 years—with all agreeing the visit was very special.

Thirteen-year-old Julia (pictured in main photo above) was visiting her sister Nadia at the time and was so excited that the team stopped to chat with her family that the entire group of 12 players posed for a photo with her—a memento that’s set to take pride of place on the family’s mantelpiece.

After the visit, England Sevens Captain Tom Mitchell said: “It’s been a real privilege for us to come along today and meet the patients and their families who are going through some tough times. We all feel fortunate to be able to spread a little bit of happiness at this time of year.”

The Hospital’s Assistant Director of Nursing Cathy Hill, who helped show the squad around the hospital, said: “It was great to have the England Sevens taking time out of their busy training schedule to come and visit us. It was lovely to see how they spread so much happiness to the patients here as well as our staff, many of whom will be working over Christmas. It’s safe to say our patients’ spirits were lifted by the visit—with all of them very much appreciating the team’s best wishes for their health to improve enough to make it home in time for Christmas—something we’re all hoping for.”

2017/18 is a huge season for rugby sevens with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. The England Sevens finished last season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in second place. The 2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series kicked off in Dubai on 1–2 December where England game third and took home bronze medals. The second leg was in Cape Town on 9–10 December where England came joint eighth. They are now back in training and are working towards the next stop on the series which will take place in Sydney on 26–28 January 2018.