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Heathcote backs youth to shine in Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Heathcote has experienced the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series at first hand and admits it played a vital role in his own breakthrough.

And the Worcester Warriors fly-half is hoping the next generation of Sixways stars can take their chance when the competition returns this summer.

After impressive showings for his former club Bath Rugby in the 2011 edition of the 7s competition, the fly-half broke into the first team at the Rec that season – making 13 Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances in total.

Now at Worcester – after a spell at Edinburgh – the 24-year-old’s memories of that edition of the competition that saw Bath narrowly miss out on a final berth burn bright.

And the Scotland international admits his breakthrough owed a lot to the tournament.

“I played in the competition a couple of times when I was at Bath,” he said.

“It’s a really good tournament, when I played I really enjoyed it.

“I remember being pretty apprehensive before it started because I hadn’t had a great deal of 7s experience but it was a lot of fun.

“It’s a great chance for the young guys to show what they can do.

“It’s sevens rather than XV-a-side but to get their chance representing their first team is a great opportunity.

“They will be playing on TV and get a real flavour for what the first team is all about, and with all the coaches watching as well they can really impress.

“It will be a lot of fun, but it’s hard work – that can be good for pre-season – but you will be hurting by the end of it.”

This year is arguably the biggest in 7s history as it makes its Olympic debut in Brazil later this summer, with rugby union returning to the Games for the first time since 1924.

Aviva Premiership Rugby leads the way when it comes to club 7s and this year’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series will kick off in Cardiff before visiting Exeter Chiefs, Northampton and Newcastle Falcons.

Newport Gwent Dragons are the defending champions but Worcester will be in action in Group C at Kingston Park on Saturday July 30.

They will face off with Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks as they bid to make it to the Series Final at the Ricoh Arena.

“The 7s Series kicked off in 2010 and since then it has become a date to look forward to in the rugby calendar," said the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby, Phil Winstanley.

“Sevens is at its most high profile this year with its return to the Olympics in Rio and Premiership Rugby continues to lead the way when it comes to club 7s.

“Last year’s final was won with a try in the last second of the final game between Wasps and Newport Gwent Dragons and we can expect this year’s series to be just as exciting.”

Tickets for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series are now on sale at premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets
 

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