Fixtures - Top Bar

Dragons set their sights on more Singha 7s silverware

NickWakleyDragons16SB1005

Newport Gwent Dragons have a Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series legacy to envy and coach Nick Wakley expects his experienced team to mount a serious title defence – starting this Friday.

Welsh regions first joined the competition in 2014 and the Dragons have certainly made their mark, reaching the final that year before lifting the trophy 12 months ago.

Harrison Keddie grabbed the all-important score as the Dragons downed a star-studded Wasps side in the Series Final – and that winning nucleus is a year older and wiser this time around.

The Dragons head to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday to play Ospreys and Cardiff Blues, before finishing up against Scarlets.

And Wakley insists head coach Kingsley Jones has supplied the 7s side with the calibre of player that can see them go the entire way again.

“As a region the Dragons are very supportive, Kingsley Jones is very competitive,” said Wakley. “They want to win things and they have shown that with the calibre of players we have had to choose from over the past couple of seasons. It has been great to work with.

“The Singha 7s has been an incredible success for the Dragons in terms of the youngsters close to the top flight rugby.

“Angus O’Brien and Ashton Hewitt, Harrison Keddie have kicked on and hopefully will get more exposure this year.

“It has been a great stepping stone for them, it is a brutal environment and they really thrived in it and excelled. I am hoping to see the same thing this year and the three of them starting to put pressure on the first XV at the Dragons.”

The Dragons finished top of Group A last year, despite losing the opening match of the tournament to Scarlets.

They then beat Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby on Finals Day at Twickenham Stoop before inflicting the 17-14 defeat on Wasps that saw them hoist the trophy aloft.

And while there will be familiar faces on parade for the Dragons this Friday, Wakley holds high hopes for the new blood coming through – including teenage centre George Gasson.

“The academy players there are very impressive, you only have to look at the likes of Lloyd Lewis, George Gasson – they are exceptional athletes,” added Wakley.

“They have been coached very well, they are exciting players to work with. They have been supportive with me and my demands with coaching and getting coaching time with them outside of their pre-season training so that I could instil my sevens principles on them.

“They have all bought into it, which makes it pretty easy to coach.

“George Gasson is a great athlete, he is fast, he is big, he can be a kick-off option for me. He could also do a job in the forwards, which is a big interest to me. We like spreading the ball around the field and that allows us to have pace on both sides of the sevens field.”

The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 22 July at Cardiff Arms Park with the Finals at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets 
 

Latest News

Under 18s Academy Finals Day – Reaction: Rigby and Warriors gave everything

Young prop Nick Rigby admitted he could not have asked for anything more after finishing the Premiership Rugby U18 Academy…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 50 Bristol Rugby 17

Aaron Mauger has backed his Leicester Tigers side to make the top four and qualify for the Aviva Premiership Rugby…

Telusa Veainu scored a brilliant first-half try on his return to Leicester Tigers colours

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 22 Harlequins 12

Bath Rugby director of rugby Todd Blackadder admits his side were not at their best but was still delighted to…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 32 Exeter Chiefs 48

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter praised the lightning speed of hat-trick hero James Short as his side ran in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Audio: Post match reaction from Bath v Harlequins

Bath were back at the Rec to welcome Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. Simon Ward was in the crowd..... Afterwards…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Bath Rugby 22 Harlequins 12

Max Clark’s second-half try and the boot of Rhys Priestland secured Bath Rugby a hard-fought victory over Harlequins that keeps…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Leicester Tigers 50 Bristol Rugby 17

JP Pietersen’s first-half try double inspired Leicester Tigers to an eight-try 50-17  Aviva Premiership Rugby win over Bristol Rugby in…

JP Pietersen and Telusa Veainu were pivotal to Leicester Tigers' electric attack

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 32 Exeter Chiefs 48

James Short scored a hat-trick as Exeter Chiefs scored seven tries in a 48-32 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Under 18s Academy Finals Day – Reaction: Exeter Chiefs’ Snow revels in hardest game of year

Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Joe Snow feels that his side's 29-28 win against Wasps in the 3rd/4th place play-off at the…

700001073_tm_7482_f9fab660151316c51edf656886f5655c.jpg

Under 18s Academy Finals Day – Reaction: Porter admits inconsistency cost Wasps

Wasps captain Will Porter felt the team lacked consistency during their defeat to Exeter Chiefs on Premiership Rugby U18 Academy…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Hill confident Exeter Chiefs’ squad depth will ensure top four finish

Exeter Chiefs look well on course to reach the Aviva Premiership Rugby play-offs for the second year running and centre Sam…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Gloucester Rugby’s David Humphreys praises outstanding Tom Marshall

David Humphreys believes Gloucester Rugby fans have yet to see the best of full-back Tom Marshall after the New Zealander’s…

Tom Marshall made 90 metres and crossed for a try in Gloucester Rugby's win over Saracens