Simon Amor believes the signs are promising for the future after England brought the curtain down on their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series campaign with a Parisian silver lining.
For the first time this series, England made it all the way to the final where they took on a South Africa side needing to win to retain their title.
Unfortunately for Amor’s charges the Blitz Boks managed just that, coming through 24-14 to take the gold medal in the French capital.
The 19 points earned by England for their runners-up spot saw them finish fifth overall in the series standings ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco next month.
And it was that in particular Amor was already looking ahead to.
“We’re delighted to get to the final and I’m really pleased with the effort and the attitude of the guys right the way through; I thought we played some really great rugby,” said the head of England Sevens.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to adapt when the weather came down in the final, but it’s a great learning experience for some of our younger ones – particularly Ryan Olowofela who has really made some great progress, and of course Harry Glover and Ethan Waddleton.
“That’s what this season has been about for us – there’s been a huge amount of learning going on and we’ve adapted the way that we’ve played the game. I’m really pleased with the progress that we’ve made in key areas but we can still definitely be a lot better.
“With some of the young guys coming through and showing their talent, we’ll be working really hard with them to make them world-class players. We just need to fine tune a few areas to give them and ourselves a really good chance of ending this season on a high at the World Cup.”
The Blitz Boks scored first through Werner Kok, before Ollie Lindsay-Hague instantly hit back after Dan Norton made a break down the right.
Norton was on hand again to find a gap in the South African defence to race clear and put England in the driving seat.
But on the stroke of half-time, Ryan Oosthuizen levelled the score by diving over in the corner, before player of the final Dewald Human put them ahead in the second half.
Justin Geduld, along with nailing all his conversion attempts, added a penalty to put daylight between the two teams but England couldn’t find an elusive fourth try and finished runners up.