Sevens World Series draw announced
England have been drawn against Kenya, Samoa and Spain on the opening day of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The draw was made for the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia on Monday morning with the matches set to take place on October 13.
England will still be favourites going into the fixtures after finishing third last time around but will have their work cut out against Samoa who came fourth and Kenya who finished 12th.
Spain meanwhile are a new 'core team' for this season's series following their second-place finish in the qualifying competition.
England head coach Ben Ryan believes his squad look strong.
"We're in excellent shape after a very demanding pre-season programme and standards in the squad have been driven up by the intense competition for places," Ryan told Sky Sports.
"The draw for the Gold Coast brings home just how close we are now to the kick-off of what promises to be the biggest season ever for Sevens.
"We're in the Olympic cycle now with the HSBC Sevens World Series followed immediately by the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow next June. "