Gloucester’s Dan Norton has already achieved plenty in his career but the Olympic rugby sevens silver medallist was still taken aback after being given a special prize at Wednesday’s Crabbie’s National Rugby Awards.

Held at England rugby’s headquarters, the National Rugby Awards celebrate the best of English rugby, from grassroots to the very pinnacle of the game, with stars aplenty turning out for the ceremony.

Former Hartpury College pupil Norton broke the all-time World Rugby Sevens Series try scoring record this year when he crossed for his 245th international score during the Hong Kong Sevens round against South Korea in April.

The feat ensured the 29-year-old beat the previous record of 244 set by Collins Injera of Kenya, and landed him with the Special Achievement Award at the ceremony at Twickenham.

And Norton insists there is plenty of gas in the tank as he looks to extend his lead at the top of the international try-scoring charts as much as he can.

“It’s a nice award to get for the guys,” said Norton. “I was pleased to come along and support the event and meet some amazing people and salute their achievements, but it was nice to get called up – it topped off a nice evening.

“It was an amazing feeling [to score the record-breaking try] – throughout the year I’d been building to that moment.

“It was an amazing moment for me and my family, it’s a great legacy and nice to have my name up there with some greats as well.

“The next thing obviously is the World Series, along with that we’ve got an amazing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and the World Cup on top of that as well. It’s a busy period for us.

“I’m looking forward to trying to do my best for the boys and scoring as many tries as I can.”

The Crabbie’s National Rugby Awards, now in its third year, rewards everything that is great about rugby at all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite, with former England captain and event ambassador Chris Robshaw in attendance this week.

And Norton added that the importance of lower-level rugby cannot be underestimated as England look to further enhance their reputation in all forms of the game.

“Grassroots is massive,” he said. “It’s where a lot of the international players come from and it’s the one part of rugby that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves.

“It’s amazing to be part of the evening and showing off the support of the game to the levels that need it the most.

“The Crabbie’s National Rugby Awards evening is massive – it gives them the belief and help support the network at elite level.

“This is what we need to keep making the English rugby game great, and evening like this are just great opportunities to salute those guys and make it a better place for years to come.”

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