TOP BAR - Fixtures

Lewis Ludlam looking to give whole Northampton Saints squad Singha 7s boost

Lewis Ludlam believes winning the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series title will be a huge boost for the whole Northampton Saints squad ahead of the start of the regular season.

Saints play Bath Rugby in their first game of the season on September 3, but they could be the Singha 7s Champions well before then if they’re successful at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry next Sunday, August 7.
 
And the 19-year-old back row is confident that the squad have enough quality to make a real statement, after finishing runners-up to Harlequins in Group C on Friday night.
 
“It would be great to win the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series,” said Ludlam. “Silverware anywhere is going to be a massive confidence boost and winning it early on in the season is great for morale and confidence, and when you’re confident you’re usually playing better.
 
“We’ve got a lot of young lads playing tonight so it’s about getting confidence into us and hopefully we can transfer that to the regular season.

“We’ve got to try and win it whenever we can because there might not be many opportunities in your career, so we’re going to give it our best shot and see how it goes.”
 
With Harlequins securing three bonus-point victories at Franklin’s Gardens, it came down to a straight shoot-out between Gloucester Rugby and hosts Northampton to determine who would join them in the Series Final.

And an incredible four tries from Howard Packman, and the noise from over 10,000 fans at Franklin’s Gardens, helped get Saints over the line with a 27-17 win.
 
They will face the winners of Group B, Exeter Chiefs, in the quarter final with Ludlum confident  that there are better performances still to come from the squad.
 
“We were always going to be a bit slow to start having done limited rugby over the past six or seven weeks, but once we got going we looked good,” he said.
 
“I thought we built on our first performance and it paid off in the end.
 
“We’ll be back in a couple of days next week, hoping to improve on how we’ve done today – hopefully we can have another big performance.
 
"There’s plenty of talent in that squad. If we do the right things who knows what could happen.
 
“It’s not going to be a home crowd which will be slightly different to here but it’s a great chance to play on a big stage and get our names out there.”
 
Eight teams will play for the first silverware of the season in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals from 2pm at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Sunday 7 August. Click here for tickets.

Quarter-final fixtures:

Quarter Final 1 – Cardiff Blues v Sale Sharks
Quarter Final 2 – Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
Quarter Final 3 – Harlequins v Wasps
Quarter Final 4 – Newcastle Falcons v Ospreys

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