Cook Islands embarrass England in sevens shock

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The Independent Online

England suffered sevens embarrassment in New Zealand yesterday as they went out of the main event in the latest International Rugby Board world series tournament.

England lost all three of their pool games, including a 21-17 defeat to the Cook Islands. They also slumped against Wales (15-5) and Fiji (17-7), meaning they went forward to the quarter-finals of the consolation Bowl, and were set to face Canada in Wellington last night.

Despite fielding players from five Premiership clubs, England suffered a setback as the Cook Islands – combined population of 21,000 – caused one of the IRB series' biggest shocks.

Wales and Scotland progressed to the main competition quarter-finals, in which their respective opponents will be New Zealand and Australia.

"We had some disappointing performances," the England coach, Ben Ryan, said. "They were not performances expected of an England side. We must go away now and re-focus ready to face Canada."