- GB team start title hunt with 20 tries on opening day
- Key win over South Africa secures quarter final place
Photo: Getty Images
Russell Earnshaw's Great Britain Sevens side secured a quarter final place by reeling off three impressive wins on the first day of the World Universities Championship in Brive.
The GB side led by the England assistant coach took control of their group with a 26-14 win against South Africa backed up big wins against minnows Malaysia (40-0) and Mexico (64-0).
They face Italy in their final group match on Thursday and a win will see them top the group with Romania the likely opponents in the last eight.
The GB side includes three England players capped in the HSBC Sevens World Series in 2011-12 and Dan Bibby (Cardiff Metropolitan), Tom Mitchell (Oxford) and Sam Edgerley (UCL) all scored tries against South Africa. Loughborough's Joe Atkinson also touched down and Bibby added three conversions.
"We controlled the ball nicely and they scored from a couple of our errors. I'm sure they'll get stronger as the tournament goes on but it was a pleasing performance from us," said Earnshaw.
Earlier the GB team opened the tournament with a 40-0 win against Malaysia with Atkinson, Mitchell, Edgerley, Bibby, Sam Cross and Owen Jenkins (both Cardiff Metropolitan) shared the tries.
They scored 10 tries in the 64-0 win against Mexico with Henry (3) and Mitchell (2) leading the way. Luke Treharne (Exeter), Dante Mama (Loughborough), Chris Banfield (Cardiff Metropolitan) and Shires also touched down.
Great Britain Students Sevens squad
Joseph Atkinson (Loughborough Univ), Christopher Banfield (Cardiff Metropolitan Univ), Daniel Bibby (Cardiff Metropolitan Univ), Samuel Cross (Cardiff Metropolitan Univ), Sam Edgerley (University College, London), Jake Henry (Cardiff Metropolitan Univ), Owen Jenkins (Cardiff Metropolitan Univ), Dante Mama (Loughborough Univ), Thomas Mitchell (Oxford Univ), David Smith (Newcastle Univ), Sam Shires (Newcastle Univ), Luke Treharne (Exeter Univ).