Fixtures - Top Bar

Hodges: Cardiff Blues’ young guns will thrive on Singha Premiership Rugby 7s stage

Cardiff is becoming a hotbed for rugby 7s talent according to Blues’ Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges, as they prepare to launch their assault on this year’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series.

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park will host the first leg of this year’s competition in exactly a month’s time, with the Blues hoping to make their mark on home soil.

Wales 7s starlets Adam Thomas, Owen Jenkins and Ben Roach all currently also ply their trade for the Blues, and Hodges is hopeful fans will get to see them strut their stuff at the July showcase.

Add into the mix several other players with World Series 7s or international under-20s experience and a host of academy starlets hopeful of catching the eye, and Hodges is confident the Blues can go all the way to the finals.

“If you look at last season, we had the likes of Owen Lane playing, who was still in school,” he said.

“He played in the Singha 7s, and then went on to play for the first XV the next week against Bristol Rugby, so it does give the entire group a great opportunity to impress.

“We’re looking to involve a lot of the more senior academy boys who will be looking to catch the eye of the first team coaches.

“Plus, they will be the first side to run out in the new Cardiff Blues kit at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, and it will be live on TV as well – it’s a level exposure most of them won’t have experienced before.

“But we’ll be looking to get some first team experience in there too, and we have a lot of World Series 7s experience in the Blues first team squad with the likes of Tomos Williams, Rhys Jones and Garyn Smith who have all played there for Wales in the last few months.

“Paul John and myself have experience coaching on the World Series as well, and we’d like to have some core 7s players like Adam Thomas, Owen Jenkins and Ben Roach back into the group too.”

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, Northampton and Newcastle before the showpiece final in Coventry on 7 August.

And after missing out on the finals last season, losing to Welsh regional rivals Scarlets, Ospreys and eventual champions Newport Gwent Dragons in the qualifier, Hodges admits the Blues will be a big focus on improving that return this term.

He said: “The first year playing at our home ground we did really well and got to the final, but last year wasn’t so good for us as we started poorly.

“There is a very unforgiving environment in 7s rugby, we learnt that last year, so we’ll need to put a lot of emphasis on that first game.

“But there is a balance to be found between winning and getting experience of senior rugby for Cardiff Blues – it will be a great evening out and hopefully everyone can enjoy some thrilling rugby.”

The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 22 July with the Finals at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit

Latest News

Match Reaction: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Years of hard-work have paid off for Exeter Chiefs according to head coach Rob Baxter, after the Devon side lifted…

AUDIO: Yeandle, Haskell and Townsend reflect on the Aviva Premiership final

Russell Hargreaves looks back on a dramatic and extended Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, before speaking to victorious Exeter Chiefs…

Match Report: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Seven years after kicking Exeter Chiefs into Aviva Premiership Rugby, skipper Gareth Steenson proved once again that ice runs through…

HITZ learning academy gear up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Around 30 young people from across the country will be at this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham to…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…

Netani Talei retires from rugby

Harlequins back-row Netani Talei has today (Thursday 25th May) announced that he will retire from the game following medical advice.…

Netani Talei

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final – safety of supporters

The safety of our supporters is of upmost importance to Premiership Rugby. As a result, we have been working for…

Win a Citizen Watch and a ball signed by this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions

Celebrating being the Official Timekeeper of Premiership Rugby, Citizen are offering you the chance to win a Citizen Watch up…

England Squad Announced to Play in Old Mutual Wealth Cup Against the Barbarians

Eddie Jones has named his England squad to play in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup against the Barbarians on Sunday…