With the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final heading to the home of Wasps this season, Guy Thompson insists they will be going in all guns blazing to ensure their fans have a Wasps’ team to cheer for on August 7.
The competition’s finale is set to be held at the Ricoh Arena for the first time in exactly a month, after the Coventry venue’s successful hosting of the group stage last year.
Wasps were one of the star attractions last year with the likes of England internationals Elliot Daly, Christian Wade and Joe Simpson lighting up the tournament.
Thompson skippered the team all the way to the grand final at the Twickenham Stoop where they were just pipped to the title in the dying seconds by Newport Gwent Dragons, but the 29-year-old is adamant the campaign was a huge success regardless.
“It was a huge honour for me to captain the 7s side last year; it was the first time I’d captained Wasps and we had a fantastic team out on the pitch,” said Thompson.
“People like Dan Robson and Brendan Macken were new to the club and showed how good they were in 7s to everyone and then kicked on in the Aviva Premiership to have an outstanding season.
“Joe Simpson played too and he has been off with the GB 7s side recently, and then obviously Elliot Daly and Christian Wade played as well.
“It was a brilliant opportunity for us in a very long preseason to get our hands on the ball, get some match fitness and get some competitive games in.
“No matter how much running you do there is nothing quite like playing so it was a massive positive for us last year and we’ll be looking to do the same again.
“This style of rugby is just so different to XVs; 7s is hard, fast, and physical but it’s a great game to play as there is so much space and the boys all really enjoy it.”
It is an exciting time for rugby 7s with the sport about to leap into the limelight in its first appearance at the Olympic Games since 1924.
Aviva Premiership Rugby leads the way when it comes to club 7s, and after this year's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series kicks off in Cardiff, it will visit Exeter – where Wasps are in action on July 23 – Northampton and then Newcastle.
Then comes the final in Coventry on 7 August, and with the showdown taking place the day after the Olympic 7s kicks-off, expect to see the biggest Singha Premiership Rugby 7s crowd yet at the Ricoh Arena. And Thompson believes the powers that be at Wasps will not be holding any of their big guns back from their squad for the second year running.
He said: “We’ve only just come back in for preseason so we haven’t really looked at the 7s yet, but we’ll definitely be making a big bid again to win the whole competition.
“We hosted the group stage last year and the support was unbelievable; fortunately we managed to put a good show on for the fans and win the group.
“We want to do the same again this time. We’ll be determined to get through so we can put a show on for the fans again at the Ricoh.
“If we can get as many people down there again as possible it will be invaluable to the boys, and I’m guessing if the internationals come back and put their hands up to play, Dai [Young] won’t hesitate to put them in.”
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