TOP BAR - Fixtures

Sanderson: Saracens’ selection battles will play out in Singha Premiership 7s

Alex Sanderson and Saracens won nearly everything there was to win domestically last season, but the Singha Premiership 7s series presents a new target for them.

Sarries won the inaugural 7s title back in 2010 and finished runners-up a year later but have not made it back to the showpiece final since then.

This year they travel to the Ricoh Arena on August 21 to battle it out with Wasps, Harlequins and Northampton Saints in Group C.

For the full fixture list of the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s click here
 
With as many as 20 players potentially missing for Saracens at the start of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season on World Cup duty, Sarries’ squad depth will be tested to the limit.

But having won the Aviva Premiership RugbyLV= Cup and Aviva A-League titles last season, Sanderson is already excited to see the next generation put their hand up for selection at the Singha 7s.

“Pre-season has started again, but we start again,” said the forwards coach.

“We cannot assume that the culture is going to be as strong or that the principles are going to be in place.

“Especially with as many as 20 players away on international duty that we might have, there is a teething process when you get them back in too.

“The young lads love the 7s, it’s a big stage for them when they perhaps have not played in front of many people.

“It’s a good breeding ground to get them used to playing under pressure.

“There are chances for guys to showcase their talents, we have got a lot of young fast players like Mike Ellery and Nathan Earle, wingers who are stepping in for David Strettle, this could be a good chance for them to show what they can do.

“It will serve as a selection scenario in that sense, of course it’s a totally different game but for the outside backs you can see what their raw talent is like.”

Last year’s title was won by Gloucester Rugby, the second year in a row that the Cherry & Whites have lifted the crown.

They defeated Newport Gwent Dragons in the final while Sarries failed to make finals day after a third-place finish in Group C at Franklin’s Gardens.

Tickets for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series are now on sale. For full details see premiershiprugby.com/7s

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