Banahan scores first England try in Dubai Sevens

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Banahan (20) scored his try in a 22-10 Group match defeat at the hands of reigning Dubai champions South Africa, but the former Les Quennevais and Highlands student also played his part in the opening victory over Tunisia and a 24-24 draw with Canada.

The national press have certainly placed a heavy focus on England’s rising rugby stars this week – and man-mountain Banahan in particular.

The former Siam Cup man, who stands 6 ft 7 in tall, has had praise ringing down on him from all quarters this week.

England’s campaign for the Emirates Trophy continues today with an early quarter-final meeting with Samoa.

The other quarter-finals are: New Zealand v Argentina, South Africa v Kenya (14-12 conquerors of Wales); and Fiji v Scotland.

Should England progress they will meet either Fiji or Scotland in the semi-finals.

The tallest and fastest player on the books at Bath, Banahan has already impressed England Sevens coach Ben Ryan: ‘He is a devastating runner and size-wise the only people you can compare him to are the Pacific Island boys.

He can really shift, his skills are great and he is a hard man to stop.

‘It takes a couple of players to pull him down in the Premiership – and if he can do that in Sevens that is half their team gone.’

Banahan signed off for the World Sevens Series duty by scoring one try and creating another in Bath’s Premiership victory over Bristol last weekend.

‘People questioned whether I could make the positional switch from lock to wing.

Last season was a long one as I tried to get to grips with it,’ he explained.

‘I wasn’t the best of players and I lost my way big time.

But all that work has been coming together now.’

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