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Newport Gwent Dragons’ Geraint Rhys Jones can’t wait for Singha 7s

Newport Gwent Dragons’ Geraint Rhys Jones can’t wait for Singha 7s

Newport Gwent Dragons took the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series by storm last year and Geraint Rhys Jones believes his side can lead the Welsh charge once more on Finals Day.

The Dragons have been a force to be reckoned with ever since the introduction of a Welsh leg to the competition back in 2014.

That year they made it out of the group before going all the way to the Grand Final – but ultimately being beaten by Gloucester Rugby.

The Welsh region made up for it a year later however, getting the better of a star-studded Wasps side – including Christian Wade and Dan Robson – as a last-gasp Harry Keddie score saw them emerge with the title.

And Jones, who took on the skipper’s armband last year, is positive that his side can embrace the pressure when their campaign kicks off at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on 22 July.

“We are very excited ahead of the Singha 7s,” said the 28-year-old. “Obviously there will be a bit of pressure on us as defending champions. We want to have a similar squad to last year and maybe even strengthen it.

“It was fantastic to go out and beat Wasps in the final last year, they’re a great team. It was great for the young boys and the rest of the squad to get some positive vibes. It was great to win that tournament and we hope to win again this year.

“It gave us great momentum going into the season. We had a winning feeling.

“It has a massive bearing on the XVs. There are a lot of young players coming through and to go out and play in
front of thousands of people and experience something they never have before.

“Also, to go out and play against top players like Christian Wade who have played in the Premiership. These guys see they have the ability to go out and play with the senior players in the squad.”

It is an exciting time for rugby 7s with the sport about to leap into the limelight when rugby union makes 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.

And Jones believes that some of the livewires on show at the Singha 7s this summer could well prove the Olympians of tomorrow.

“Now 7s is an Olympic sport, a lot of players will put their arms up to go out and experience Singha 7s and play at the top level,” he added.

“It is a massive year for 7s and it is fantastic to have it as an Olympic sport. I think people will get behind the Singha 7s and get a taste for what is to come. The standard of the Singha tournament is great and it will only be better this year.

“In 7s it is never over until it is over, as we proved last year with winning tries late on the semi-final and final. A lot of us were too tired to be jumping and screaming in that final but it was a fantastic feeling.”

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
 

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