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Pellow expects Exeter Chiefs youngsters to light up Sandy Park

Pellow expects Exeter Chiefs youngsters to light up Sandy Park

Exeter Chiefs skills coach Ricky Pellow expects potential breakthrough stars Max Bodilly and Sam Simmonds to light up Sandy Park at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7 Series next month.

Since 2010, the Singha 7s have helped to whet the appetite ahead of the new Aviva Premiership Rugby season – and the show is coming to the south west on July 23.

Sandy Park plays host to Group B as Exeter do battle with Bath Rugby, newly-promoted Bristol Rugby and last year’s finalists Wasps.

It’s a chance for fans to peek into the future, as Jack Nowell and Henry Slade are just two names to have cut their teeth in the competition.

And full-back Bodilly – who made his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut last season – and flanker Simmonds are two names Pellow is looking forward to unleashing.

“In the squad we have put together, there are a lot of guys who are pushing to be in to those pre-season games and going into the Premiership,” said Pellow.

“Max Bodilly played a lot of Premiership Rugby last season so this gives him the chance to show where he has developed and push himself into that process.

"Max will be dangerous. He has got a step on him in attack. Sam Simmonds, who is our No.7, was one of the stand-out players in the 7s last season.

“In the South West 7s he looked really good, and I know he wanted to move over into that 7s environment so he will want to push it on.

“He has been doing really well in our 15s and is definitely one who stands out, and then Jack Maunder and Stu Townsend could push on too. Then we will get a few of our younger players in the mix."

In total, 25 players have gone on to play international rugby since appearing at the Singha 7s – though Pellow admits it would be unfair to compare his whole squad to the likes of Slade and Nowell.

But with a Sandy Park crowd behind their backs, the former scrum-half believes the tournament will serve as a crucial stepping stone in the next crop’s development.

“The two things we always look to with Henry, Jack, Luke (Cowan-Dickie) and Dave (Ewers) is that firstly they do everything on the field,” added Pellow. “And then what they have got is the little bits that glue it all together, all the things which are tedious like rehab – they are totally professional.

“They came back and worked their way into our team and then England, and then maybe the Lions next summer.

“These guys are now on that starting process. The 7s is a starting block before the LV= Cup and the Premiership, so it is a starting place for a lot of our players.

"To get (the Singha 7s) at Sandy Park is a massive bonus. Going up to Gloucester in the last three years has been amazing, they've put on a good show.

“The support they get there is unbelievable and it's a good pressure environment for the young guys.”

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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