Wasps are dreaming of lifting the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s trophy aloft later this month but for Guy Thompson there is more than one reason to put on a show.
The Premiership’s annual curtain-raiser ventures to new territory on Friday August 21, when the Ricoh Arena will host Wasps, Northampton Saints, Saracens and Harlequins in Group C.
The Coventry venue became Wasps’ new home in December and they took to it instantly, with crushing league wins over London Irish, Sale Sharks and Quins.
The 32,019 supporters for their clash with Leicester Tigers in May is a competition record for a match outside Twickenham or Wembley.
And now Thompson, who will be captain for the day is eager to inspire more new Wasps fans with a festival of fast, free-flowing 7s rugby.
“The Ricoh has been a great success so far,” said Thompson, who earlier this month signed a new contract with Wasps. “We love playing there, we have had great crowds support us in the Premiership and we’re hoping to get a big crowd coming down to the Singha 7s.
“It will attract a different type of crowd that maybe haven’t been to a game before and hopefully that will bring a lot of excitement. We will put on a bit of a show.
“It’s all about scoring tries so hopefully they will come down, get a bit of a taste of rugby and they’ll be lifelong fans.”
There won’t be any shortage of such entertainment, with Wasps having named an eye-catching squad for the Singha 7s.
Fleet-footed England winger Christian Wade is in the squad along with Elliot Daly, fresh from a dazzling season that saw him widely tipped as a World Cup wildcard.
The group’s top two will proceed to finals day at the Twickenham Stoop and while the competition is fierce – the last two Premiership champions and a Quins side with impressive 7s pedigree – Thompson is eager to get stuck in.
“I’m really excited to get involved and it’s a great opportunity for the boys to put a marker down from what we’ve done in pre-season,” he added.
“We’re really excited to get out there and play. The pitch has been re-laid for us this season so we want to get there, get the atmosphere going and just play rugby again.
“We’ve done a hell of a lot of fitness in pre-season so far – a lot of gym work and hill running – and Singha 7s will provide the opportunity to put that training into practice.
“It will give us a good indication and a good marker of where we’re at so far. In training it’s always great and you’re pushing each other but there’s nothing like a bit of competition against your local rivals so we’re really excited for that.”