The 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season will kick off – at the end of July – in spectacular style with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton.
Wasps start the defence of their title in the first match of the tournament at 6pm on 28 July, where they take on another former winner, Newcastle Falcons.
For the full draw go to premiershiprugby.com/Singha7s
Lee Blackett will coach the Wasps team at this year’s event. “The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series is a great way to kick off the season,” said Blackett.
“The level of competition in the Series rises each year and this season should be no different. It was a brilliant event for the club to host the 7s series at the Ricoh Arena last season and we were delighted to lift the trophy on home turf. Franklin’s Gardens is a fantastic place to play, I’m sure their passionate fans will turn out in force as always and it will be another great atmosphere.”
The home of Northampton Saints was chosen to host the first Olympic style version of the Premiership Rugby 7s on Friday 28 July and Saturday 29 July, with all 12 Premiership Rugby teams taking part across two days of action.
Blackett added: “The weekend should feature some really competitive teams and all of the clubs will be looking to get a springboard into the Premiership season. Winning the title last season helped our pre-season preparations and hopefully this year will be no different, although defending our title will be difficult with so many top teams involved.
“All players will be highly motivated, keen to show what they can do with a new season just around the corner. It’s also a good opportunity to put some of the pre-season work to the test, in such a fast paced, high intensity format of the game which is always exciting to watch with loads of tries being scored. The tournament should give fans the opportunity to see a blend of experience and plenty of bright new talent hoping to grace Aviva Premiership Rugby in the not too distant future.”
Teams will be split into three pools of four in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, and they will play each other on a round-robin basis with the tournament splitting into Cup, Plate and Bowl competitions on the second day which kicks off at 3pm on 29 July.
The first night of the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will end at 10pm with the hosts – Northampton Saints – taking on Saracens.
Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director of Premiership Rugby added: “We are excited about this new format and having – for the first time ever – all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs together over two days of rugby.
“It is particularly good news for fans who can enjoy a wonderful Festival of Rugby at a perfect venue that has outstanding facilities for players and spectators alike.
“We are looking forward to welcoming fans from all 12 clubs to the East Midlands.”