TOP BAR - Fixtures

Chiefs confirm squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Exeter Chiefs skills coach Ricky Pellow believes the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s offers a brilliant opportunity for young rugby players to showcase their talents to a global audience.

With the event rising in stature year on year, the Cornishman will again lead a youthful Chiefs squad into action at Kingsholm determined to make their mark on the competition which acts as the ideal curtain-raiser ahead of the new Premiership Rugby season.

Certainly since their arrival in the top flight back in 2010, Devon's finest have not been afraid to parade their fine array of young talent in not only the Sevens, but also the Aviva Premiership and European competitions too.

And the bold stance has certainly reaped its rewards with the likes of original academy starlets Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Dave Ewers going on to establish themselves not only within the Chiefs first team ranks, but also on the main international scene.

The Chiefs will not only tackle hosts and reigning champions Gloucester, but rivals Bath and London Irish as they look to book their place in next week's Series Final at the Twickenham Stoop.

And while the Chiefs could be forgiven for taking the event lightly ahead of a season that will once again see Champions Cup rugby come to Sandy Park, Pellow is adamant that will not be the case in what the club view as a crucial pre-season tool.

"When we first arrived in the Premiership it was a good stepping stone for us and this year will be no different," he said. "We have taken it a little more seriously in terms of preparation. We are probably better prepared than in previous years.

"The first one was a big one for us, especially coming up into the Premiership, but now we use it as a chance to make a statement. It is a good opportunity for us to put a marker down as a club, so we are going to work very hard to make that happen."

Among those set to feature tonight are England Under-20s starlets Sam Skinner and Stu Townsend, whilst Sam Simmonds has experienced the Kingsholm atmosphere on previous occasions.

"It is going to be massive for us if we can field some younger players. In the past the likes of Jack Nowell and Henry Slade have played in this competition – and for the likes of Sam Simmonds and Stu Townsend, they know what this competition is all about and they can bring experience to those who have not played in the competition before.

"Looking at our squad, I know we have some real quality in there and guys who have played at this level before. I know if we can get the right balance we have a real chance.

"Last year at Gloucester the atmosphere was brilliant and sums up how the tournament has grown. There were four teams really going at it and the sevens that was played was absolutely outstanding. If you can bring some of those guys into that environment, it’s good for those younger guys and it’s also good for the more senior guys if they are coming back from injury. It is a good competition because whatever side you put out it’s going to be a good day for your club. I think it’s a brilliant tournament."

1 Sam Skinner
2 Stuart Townsend
3 Sam Simmonds
4 Jack Maunder
5 Pete Laverick
6 Ted Landry
7 Adam Worth
8 Matt Eliet
9 Tom Holdsworth
10 Harry Strong
11 Joe Simmonds
12 Alex Ducker

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