Rugby Union / Middlesex Sevens Final: Callard shines in sevens heaven: Bath dominate at Twickenham while Sowman opts for experience to face WA

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The Independent Online
JON CALLARD was making points and scoring hits. The full-back England discarded returned again to Twickenham, the scene of a triumphant international debut against New Zealand last November, and reminded those present at the Middlesex Sevens that, while he may have been left to kick his heels, he is very much alive and kicking.

Good for Callard and good for Bath. Having already run away with the league and cup, on Saturday the club adapted brilliantly to the abbreviated game and came away clutching a new prize and first ever treble.

'Obviously I'm disappointed not to be touring in South Africa,' Callard said. Instead, down but not beaten, he revealed another side to his character by taking on the role of leadership and guiding Bath to the one last prize remaining on offer.

It was a measure of the man and a reminder. The house that Jack Rowell built in the Georgian city is so full of talent those unlucky enough not to be accompanying their former coach on his latest exciting adventure are only too keen to confirm that the best strength in depths lies to the west.

Most remarkable was the fact that Bath's remnants should achieve another goal with such apparent ease. 'We had a one- hour training session during the week,' Callard said. 'And that was it.' Those die-hards among the 48,000 who bought tickets for the Sevens and ignored the foul weather would never have guessed.

Nor would Orrell, whose spirited tackling was a feature of the day but who were beaten 19-12 in the final despite battling back and being on level terms with four minutes remaining. Fittingly, it was then Callard who stole away for the winning try.

In four matches, the captain accumulated 35 points, London Scottish, Loughborough and Saracens the others to feel the weight of his boot and experience the positive skills of his positioning. As for finishing, no one could touch Audley Lumsden.

It was at the Sevens four years ago that Lumsden, who broke his neck playing against Plymouth in 1989, resumed his playing career. 'My whole attitude to rugby has changed since the injury,' he said. 'I used to be incredibly ambitious, but now I just play for the fun of it.'

Once regarded as a future England full-back, Lumsden is 27 next month and considered he was 'too old and too slow' to make the big time. Three months ago, though, he ran in two tries for the Emerging Players and on Saturday scored his seventh of the afternoon in the final with Orrell.

Bath: Tries Rayner, Lumsden, Callard; Conversions Callard 2. Orrell: Tries Naylor, Johnson; Conversion Johnson.

Bath: A Lumsden, E Rayner, J Callard (capt), I Sanders; E Peters, G Adams, M Haag.

Orrell: J Naylor, I Wynn, P Johnson (capt), A Healey; M Farr, J Clayton, H Parr.

Referee: K Ricketts (Portsmouth).

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