England sevens players show their colours to promote 'Safari' fancy dress theme for fans


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The Independent Online

Rugby players have often been called animals….and now they really look the part.

England Sevens players players Chris Cracknell, Dan Norton, Tom Mitchell, Alice Richardson and Michaela Staniford showed their stripes in a unique photoshoot at Twickenham stadium.

In striking images to mark this year’s ‘Safari’ fan fancy dress theme, each player was body painted as an animal that supposedly represented their individual strengths and style on the pitch. Not surprisingly, World Series leading try scorer Dan Norton is a Cheetah in the pack due to his lightning speed.

With nearly 80,000 tickets already sold for the final leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, taking place on the 11-12 May, fans are being urged to join the pack to avoid disappointment.

Dan Norton, England Sevens Wing, comments “Each year the fans fancy dress outfits get better and better so we thought we’d get in on the action. Now it’s the fans’ turn to show us what they’ve got and get their safari on.”

Michaela Staniford, who was transformed into a leopard, added: “It was a surreal experience and the final images look fantastic. It’s not every day you’re dressed in next to nothing and body painted head to toe by strangers. It’s certainly different to what we’ve done in previous years and I may have taken it all a little too seriously, losing my voice from all the roaring to camera.”

 Ben Ryan, England Sevens head coach, comments, “With event ticket sales at an all-time high, excitement is building for the Marriott London Sevens. We are expecting a record breaking 110,000 people passing through the turnstiles over the weekend at Twickenham for an action packed final leg of the series and we hope these images will inspire fans to get creative with their fancy dress.”