Newcastle Falcons have called upon the enthusiasm of their senior academy and the experience of the Scotland sevens team for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens at Kingston Park.
Looking to maintain a perfect record of qualifying for the national finals in each tournament they have contested, coach Mark Laycock has supplemented his home grown talent with several players who have competed at the highest level.
From the Kingston Park stocks, Joe Craggs, Ruaridh Dawson and Dan Marshall, who have all been selected by England for the Commonwealth Youth Games are joined by England U18 captain Callum Chick. Marshall made an appearance in the 2014 Premiership Sevens off the bench against London Irish on finals night and will be looking to show more of what he can do this weekend.
With no fewer than eight of the 2014 sevens squad breaking into first team rugby here at the club over the course of last season, these four will be hoping to follow in their footsteps and make a positive impression in front of a big crowd and the BT Sport cameras.
Joining the Falcons from North of the border, thanks to links maintained with the Scotland 7s and former Falcons skills coach Calum MacRae are Jamie Farndale, James Fleming, James Johnstone, Gavin Lowe, Joseva Nayacavou, Scott Riddell, Mark Robertson and Scott Wight.
For Riddell, it is a welcome return to a Falcons shirt after he formed part of the Falcons team that triumphed at the 2006 Melrose and 2007 Middlesex sevens whilst he was still a student at Northumbria University.
Nayacavou meanwhile has been one of a number of players on trail at the club over the course of the summer, alllowing him to build a good rapport with the Falcons men in the squad.
The remaining members joining up with the Falcons for the tournament have all graced the latest season of IRB Sevens world series events, during which they secured their highest standing in the end of season table to date, with a seventh place finished.
Commenting on the squad, Laycock said: "With pre season being prolonged by the delayed start to the season, and a number of key players away on world cup duty, we have had to think carefully about our selection for the sevens. Our young academy lads will get a huge amount from training and playing alongside some vastly experienced players and we are all really looking forward to Saturday."
1. Joe Craggs
2. Scott Riddell
3. Callum Chick
4. Gavin Lowe
5. Scott Wight
6. James Johnstone
7. Dan Marshall
8. Mark Robertson
9. Ruaridh Dawson
10. Joe Nayacavou
11. James Fleming
12. Jamie Farndale