Newcastle Falcons’ quest for silverware this season starts with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series, according to centre Tom Penny.
Falcons have home advantage for their Group D games against Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors in the fourth and final round of group fixtures on Saturday.
The 21-year-old’s side are bidding to join Exeter Chiefs, Wasps, Ospreys and Cardiff Blues, who all qualified for the Singha 7s Series Final at the Ricoh Arena on August 7 last weekend.
And Penny is excited to play in front of a large crowd at Kingston Park, where the artificial turf should be perfectly suited to some fast and thrilling 7s action.
“We have said that this season we want to get silverware and we’ll start here with the Singha 7s, put in some good performances in the group stages and get to the finals and we’ll take it from there,” said Penny.
“It’s always pretty fast and skilful and very tiring by the looks of it, especially on here – it’s a fast track.
“We have been doing a lot of handling skills and speed work so we are looking to bring that when it comes to the first round.
“The crowd is awesome here when it’s rammed, it’s a pretty good atmosphere for the 7s as well because its quick and there’s lots going on.”
Penny has been part of the Falcons’ academy set-up since he was 11, and represented England under-18s Clubs and Schools at fullback.
He made his first team debut in the 2013 Anglo-Welsh Cup before coming off the bench for his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut in December 2014.
And despite his long relationship with the club, Saturday will be Penny’s first taste of Singha 7s action after injury scuppered his chances in previous years.
“I’m really looking forward to the Singha 7s,” he added.
“Unfortunately the last few years when I could have been available for selection I’ve been injured so haven’t actually taken part in it yet but this should hopefully be my first year.
“I want to get more involvement in the first team this season, I did a bit last year and I want to kick on from there, I always want to play, so I need to prove myself in the 7s and go from there.
“There’s a lot of young boys going to be involved and it’s their first chance to show the coaches what they can do on this platform.
“For some of the boys it’s probably their first involvement of senior rugby so they’ll be looking to show what they’re worth.”
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s continues on Friday at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton and Saturday at Kingston Park, Newcastle with the Series Finals at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7s/tickets