It is no secret that the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series is a breeding ground for rugby’s future stars to get a taste of the big occasion, and this year’s crop will be inspired by the rise of Northampton Saints’ very own England stars exploding onto the international scene.
Franklin’s Gardens will host some enthralling match-ups in one month’s time as the Singha 7s returns to Northampton at 7pm on Friday 29 July – featuring Saints, Saracens, Harlequins and Gloucester Rugby.
With such high quality sides involved, the public are sure to be treated to a feast of fast-paced rugby as they get to run the rule over tomorrow’s Premiership Rugby stars.
Saints’ Harry Mallinder – who starred in last year’s Singha 7s – captained England’s U20s to a third World Rugby Under-20 Championship crown at Sale Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
The 20-year-old was named player of the tournament after claiming two tries for England Under-20s in the 45-21 final victory over their Irish counterparts.
“It’s been a huge squad effort, we were very unfortunate to lose the likes of Theo Brophy-Clews, who was a big part of our group, but the resilience we showed after losing him and also Jack Walker, a key leader and personality, shows our character," Mallinder said.
“To win the tournament was the icing on the cake. We’ve put in a lot of hard work, it’s great to get the win as reward.”
Mallinder’s Saints’ teammate Teimana Harrison is another who shone in the Singha 7s and last weekend the flanker made his international debut against Australia in Sydney, as England triumphed 44-40 to wrap up a clean sweep in their first ever three-match series win Down Under.
Harrison replaced the injured James Haskell and was selected over Jack Clifford in a real show of faith by Jones in Harrison’s ability.
The New Zealand-born operator enjoyed an outstanding Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign leading to the 23-year-old being nominated for the Green Flag Forward of the Season last month along with Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje, George Smith, George Kruis and Nili Latu.
"Harrison for me has really looked to inject power into the Saints’ game with his carrying, his turnovers and his defence," said former England captain Martin Corry. "He's a special talent.”
Harrison joined Northampton after Dylan Hartley spotted him in New Zealand and urged the club to take a punt on a rough diamond.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 22 July at Cardiff Arms Park with Group C in Northampton on 29 July and the Finals at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets