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Dragons hoping for second time lucky

Newport Gwent Dragons went all the way to the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Final last year – but Geraint Rhys Jones insists the 2015 crop is even stronger than the last.

Dragons have reached Finals Day for the second year running after topping the Welsh group at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on 15 August.

That was despite losing their first match against Scarlets – the other Welsh region who will join them at the Stoop on Friday 28 August.

But Dragons have clear 7s pedigree, having only been defeated by Gloucester Rugby last year, and this time they have star player Elliot Frewen available after injury denied him a finals appearance in 2014.

Jones himself is also a veteran of several Wales 7s tours and the 28-year-old is desperate to right some wrongs.

"We’re very determined we’ve got a strong squad in the tournament because of our disappointment last year," he said.

"We really want to put that right this year and go one step further.

"The Singha 7s is a great platform especially for the young lads coming through. It’s a great opportunity for them to play in front of a big crowd live on TV and show what they’ve got to offer to their clubs and to their regions.

"So it’s a great platform for them to elevate themselves further on into their career.

"It was disappointing to start by losing against the Scarlets in the first game but we hadn’t been together as a team for very long so we put things right.

"We managed to put two good performances together in the second game, luckily winning the group, and we’re looking to take that form and kick on on Friday night now."

But six strong Premiership Rugby sides will be joining the Dragons at the Stoop, with much of the attention directed at a Wasps side packed with stars.

England international Christian Wade lit up the Ricoh Arena group stage by racing away for seven tries, but Jones believes a young Dragons team – who face Sale Sharks first up in their quarter final – won’t be fazed.

"It’s always good to be able to play against English opposition. It’s a good chance for us to test ourselves," he added.

"The English teams are very strong but we’re looking to go out there and perform and do very well.

"We know we’ve got to concentrate and that every game is going to be a very tough game – we’ve got to block out any distraction from the sideline and we don’t need any more motivation when playing against English teams."

The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final is today 28 August. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children on the gate at the Twickenham Stoop.
 

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