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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Dan Norton pleased to score 300th try in front of his father at Dubai Rugby Sevens

His dad had come prepared, as he brought with him a huge St George’s flag, with the words inscribed on it: 'Dan Norton 300 Club Founder Member'

The first indicator that Dan Norton might be set for a career in sevens came in 2007, when he played for a charity side at the old Exiles ground. Tom Dulat / Getty Images
The first indicator that Dan Norton might be set for a career in sevens came in 2007, when he played for a charity side at the old Exiles ground. Tom Dulat / Getty Images

Four minutes in to England’s first pool game of the new season, Dan Norton reached a unique milestone that he had had the whole of the off-season to dwell over.

With a sharp step off his left foot, and a typically rapid break through Canada’s defence, he went over to become the first player in World Series history to score 300 career tries.

Somebody had come prepared. At the front of the Dnata Stand was hanging a huge St George’s flag, with the words inscribed on it: “Dan Norton 300 Club Founder Member.”

The 30-year-old wing knew well who the owner of the flag was.

“I haven’t had that much time to reflect on it, but it was nice to have my dad here,” Norton said. “I haven’t seen him too much, but sharing the moment with him is quite nice.

“I never thought when I first started I’d be able to get up there with guys like Santi [Gomez Cora, the Argentine who was previously the record try scorer] when they were at 230.

“It is amazing to get into this position, and still be fit and healthy. It has been a cool milestone.”

The first indicator that Norton might be set for a career in sevens came in 2007, when he played for a charity side that was essentially a feeder team for England in the International Invitational tournament at the old Exiles ground.

He debuted for England in 2009 in Wellington, and his first try – coincidentally – was also against Canada.

Nine years on, he has the record for the most World Series tries, a tally that had reached 302 by the end of the Dubai Rugby Sevens, which is 31 more than Collins Injera, the Kenya who is second on the list.

“I’m getting towards the end of my career now, so it is about enjoying these amazing experiences, trying to do as well as we can as a team and try to win as much as we can,” Norton said.

“I’m staring down the barrel of retirement, so it is about enjoying every tournament, and trying to make everyone back at home proud.”

The magnificent Sevens
Whether you’re there for the scrummaging or the socialising, Dubai’s annual rugby fiesta is one of the highlights of the UAE sporting calendar. This is the remarkable story of an event that showcases sport at its joyous best
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