Callum Braley will captain an exciting young Gloucester Rugby squad on Friday evening, as the action returns with the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens at Franklin’s Gardens.
After back to back Premiership Rugby Sevens titles in 2013 and 2014, the Cherry and Whites were knocked out narrowly by eventual winners Dragons in 2015, and head into Pool 3 this Friday with a tricky set of opponents lying in wait.
First team scrum-half Callum Braley, who was part of the winning squad in 2014, will lead the squad, with senior squad members Dan Thomas, Lewis Ludlow, Mat Protheroe, Ollie Thorley and David Halaifonua providing experience to the squad.
Coach Olly Morgan will again take charge of the Sevens squad this summer, alongside new Academy coach Richard Whiffen and Morgan has called on the exciting talent in the Gloucester Rugby Academy, with forwards Joe Mullis and Will Safe joining backs Lloyd Evans, Mason Tonks, Elliott Creed and Harry Randall in the squad.
Academy trialist full back Tom Hudson completes the squad after impressing in training after arriving this summer.
The Cherry and Whites are able to call on a squad, made up solely of Gloucester Rugby players ahead of the tournament, and Morgan is backing them to express themselves under the bright lights at Franklin’s Gardens.
“It’s a great spectacle, a great tournament and competition We’re excited about it.
“We’ve obviously worked hard in preseason and are hopefully going to be a fit team. Sevens tends to highlight the individual skill sets – the contact area, the one on ones, fast and accurate passing.
“We’ve got a tough draw in that we’ve got back to match matches and, having watched the tournaments in years gone by and last weekend, that can cause teams to struggle. A lot will depend on who gets selected in the various squads but, for us, it’s the old cliché of focusing on ourselves.
“We’ve a mixture a senior academy players and a few first team squad members. The leaders will be Callum Braley, Dan Thomas, Lewis Ludlow. Lloyd Evans played a bit last year and David Halaifonua will bring his speed and power.
“There are lots of guys you can name, Mat Protheroe will be looking to make an impression and I’ll be looking to see how the guys work with each other. We’ll see how we go.
“Harlequins, with Howard Graham as a coach, are always a good Sevens team. So are Saracens and Northampton are at home. So, I think the draw is possibly the hardest across the tournament so, if we get through, it’ll stand us in good stead.”
Gloucester Rugby squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series – Friday 29th July, Franklin’s Gardens.
1. David Halaifonua
2. Joe Mullis
3. Will Safe
4. Tom Hudson
5. Harry Randall
6. Mason Tonks
7. Dan Thomas
8. Lewis Ludlow
9. Callum Braley (c)
10. Lloyd Evans
11. Mat Protheroe
12. Elliott Creed
13. Harry Wilson (travelling reserve)
The Cherry and Whites open their campaign in Game 2 on Friday, when they take on Saracens, before a sharp turnaround to take on Harlequins in Game 3 at 7:55.
Gloucester will then bring down the curtain on the evening, taking on hosts Northampton Saints in the final game at 9:15.
Full Pool 3 Schedule
7:00 – Harlequins v Northampton Saints
7:25 – Gloucester Rugby v Saracens
7:55 – Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins
8:20 – Northampton Saints v Saracens
8:50 – Harlequins v Saracens
9:15 – Gloucester Rugby v Northampton Saints