The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s is about more than just lifting the trophy as young players get experience of the big stage and Ospreys coach Dan Griffiths admits his side have a point to prove.
All 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs will once again be joined by the four Welsh Pro teams in a pre-season showcase of the game’s shortened code.
The Welsh leg returns to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on August 15 – and the Ospreys will be out to put on a display befitting of their jersey.
Last year’s tournament – the first to include Welsh participants – saw Ospreys slip to three straight defeats at the hands of their regional rivals and finish the group stage with a solitary point to their name.
And while Griffiths admits using the tournament to blood in some fresh faces is a top priority, the successful elite youth development manager would like to see a different set of results this summer.
“The boys that did play would have learnt a lot from that day,” reflected Griffiths.
“As we said in the changing room afterwards, perhaps it wasn’t about winning at that point, but learning from the experience and knowing where you can make improvements as a player. It’s very much the same this year.
“Although we’ll always be going out to win in an Ospreys shirt, because that’s what our culture demands, we need to expose these players to a level of competition that helps them improve, develop and test their skills under pressure. That’s what the sevens will give us.
“There is a big rivalry in Wales amongst the regions and a lot of the boys know each other and have to compete with each other. They enjoy that and Wales is unique in the fact that all the regions are close together.
“We’re a small nation in terms of our rugby playing population, so there’s a lot of rivalry and a lot of competition.
“There are also a lot of friendships, and a lot of bragging rights up for grabs. I’m sure the young players will enjoy that side of the competition.”
Twelve months before rugby returns to the Olympics – in Rio – Premiership Rugby continues to lead the way when it comes to club 7s.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will be an important competition and will start a run-in to the Olympic Games when rugby will be firmly in the world spotlight.
And when it kicks off in little more than two weeks’ time, Griffiths is looking forward to see some senior Ospreys of the future step into a spotlight of their own.
He added: “What the sevens does is give boys who are training with the first team the opportunity now to go and play against good players and test themselves in the competition.
“It’s an opportunity for those boys who perhaps won’t be involved in those pre-season games.
“We speak a lot about our pathway, how positive that’s been for the Ospreys, and the way we’re producing young players, as you’ll see from the senior team with guys like Nicky Smith and Dan Baker coming through.
“It’s been a huge resource for us and hopefully we can uncover the next batch of talent coming through now in this sevens competition.”
After kicking off in Wales the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will continue at Gloucester Rugby, the Ricoh Arena and Kingston Park, with the Series Final taking place at the Twickenham Stoop.