Dan Marshall believes Newcastle Falcons’ all-round game makes them a credible contender for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s title at Sunday’s finals day in Coventry.
Marshall scored in all three games last Saturday as the Falcons topped their qualifying group for the fifth time in succession, the winger heading down to the Ricoh Arena knowing they have what it takes to win the trophy they last held in 2011.
The Newcastle native forms part of a squad showing just one change from last weekend, saying: “We have got an all-round game with some quick lads out wide, plenty of strength in the forwards and skilled play-makers in the middle.
“In that sense I think we are pretty well-balanced, and we can deal with whatever gets thrown at us.”
The Falcons meet Welsh side Ospreys in quarter-final action, Marshall keen to kick on after last season representing England 7s at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
He said: “I’ve seen a few of the groups and all the teams seem to be looking strong. We just have to embrace the occasion, have belief in ourselves and do what we have talked about during the week.
“For the younger members of the squad or guys who are maybe not playing regular first team rugby, this is a great time to get yourself out there and make yourself known. You have to take that opportunity with both hands and it is also great to gain that experience of playing in front of big crowd and on TV. It’s part of the whole learning process for us.”
Insisting he feels no extra burden of responsibility despite scoring the lion’s share of Newcastle’s tries last time out, he added: “I don’t really see it as any extra pressure being one of the finishers in the team.
“Everyone has their role to play, they will do what they need to do and it just happens that a big part of my job is finishing off the moves. Everyone has an onus on them to execute their role, and I’m no different.”
Knowing that improvement is needed from last weekend’s group showing, Marshall said: “It was a hard day, to be honest.
“We came out quite slowly in our first game against Sale, picked it up but then dipped in our middle game with Worcester. We managed a bonus-point win in our final match against Leicester to win the group, but it was definitely a reality check.
“We had won 16 group games on the bounce prior to losing against Worcester, and we know we have to up our performance on Sunday’s finals day.”
Tickets for finals day at the Ricoh Arena are priced £10 adults and £5 under-18s. To book visit www.wasps.co.uk/tickets