Morgan Williams has fond memories of the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series but he has called for Ospreys to finally realise their cross-code potential at this year’s edition.
The Singha 7s kicks off at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22, with Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Scarlets all playing catch-up after Newport Gwent Dragons flew the flag for Wales in 2015.
The Dragons, facing a star-studded Wasps side that included Christian Wade and Elliot Daly, lifted the trophy at the Series Final after Harry Keddie’s last-gasp score.
It was case of what could have been for Ospreys however, as despite finishing with two wins during the Welsh leg – the same number as Dragons and Scarlets – they failed to qualify in third place.
The competition is a special one for Williams after making his Ospreys debut at the Singha 7s in 2014, and the full-back insists there is every reason to believe that this could be the Welsh region’s year.
“It has been a great experience, the first time I pulled on Ospreys shirt on was in the Singha 7s two years ago,” said Williams, who also appeared for Wales 7s in Singapore last season.
“It is a good opportunity to represent Ospreys and hopefully as a squad we can do better this year.
“Singha was my first experience with 7s and it helped me a lot before I joined up with the Welsh squad.
“7s is a great way to develop every aspect of your XVs game, but it is also a brilliant thing to do.
“It puts your individual skills under pressure, you have a lot of space to cover – especially defensively – and then on the ball you have to execute your skills more often than you would in a XVs game.
“It gives you a chance to pull on that jersey and learn to deal with the pressure, for some of the younger guys coming up now it is massive.
“In the years coming up, that ability to deal with pressure will help them when they get to senior level.”
With no fewer than 25 players earning international berths following appearances in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series, the competition is rightly seen as a springboard for the best young rugby stars around.
And Williams, who at 20 also has his whole career ahead of him, wants to use the tournament as a personal marker ahead of an important season in his development.
“I want to set off from this experience and get as many appearances for the Ospreys as I can,” he added.
“We have had a hard month or so and it will be refreshing to play some rugby, I can’t wait to actually play and not so much of the running up and down the pitch.
“There are a few U20 players to come back in, while we’ve got the experience of Jonathan Spratt and Dafydd Howells that will help bring the youngsters through too.
“Some of the senior boys will have a massive influence, especially with their communication and the pressures of playing in front of a crowd.”
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