Norton holds rugby history with 249 tries
England winger revels in "amazing feeling"
Stars in Paris Sevens this weekend
Fast-paced and free-scoring, rugby sevens is a sport for the speedsters of the game, and none is more prolific than Dan Norton.
The English flyer has run in a record 249 tries on the international sevens circuit, surpassing Kenya’s Collins Injera last month.
With both men still playing, expect fireworks at the top of the all-time try-scoring charts, starting with this weekend’s Paris Sevens.
Norton, with 39 tries so far this season, pulled ahead of Injera at the Hong Kong Sevens and added to his tally in Singapore to lead by five.
“It was quite an amazing feeling to be honest,” the 29-year-old Norton, who made his debut in 2009, told CNN.
“I never thought I’d be in this kind of position, you know. I’m very humbled to be at the top of the tree, but at the same time […] a lot of wingers in other teams are putting pressure on everybody in the whole series.
“I’m a sports fan, so it’s nice to play against quality players, but it’s a competitive sport and you want to be doing as well as you can for your nation. That’s what each of us is out there to do.”
Norton admires American flier Perry Baker – who, with 41 tries, is leading the way this season – and South Africa’s Seabelo Senatla, who is now putting his blistering pace to use in the 15-a-side game.
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The ups and downs of sevens
Ahead of the final two tournaments of the season in Paris and London, Norton’s England side is third in the overall standings behind Fiji and South Africa, having won in Cape Town and Vancouver.
England, which finished eighth last season, has yet to win the World Rugby Sevens Series title, with three runner-up finishes and five third places.
“The season this year has been quite a standard sevens series in a way – a lot of ups and quite a few downs as well,” said Norton.
“We’ve really shown some good resolve, and some good efforts to be able to be there in the top three in the world. We’re really happy with that at the moment, and look forward to pushing on.”
Norton started his career playing in rugby’s 15-a-side format, but after struggling to make his way with various domestic clubs in England, he found his feet with the fast-paced sevens version of the game.
For the last eight years, Norton has played sevens full time, growing accustomed to the globe-trotting lifestyle that takes in 10 venues from Sydney to Singapore, Vegas to Vancouver.
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This weekend he will be looking to stretch away, both in the record books and on the Paris pitch.