Ospreys’ 7s star Tom O’Flaherty believes the fact that his side are an unknown quantity can help them spring a surprise at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final on Sunday.
The Ospreys booked their passage to Finals Day for the first time in their history after finishing runners-up to a rampant Cardiff Blues at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park last month.
But after the Blues only just sneaked past Ospreys by 17-15 in the opener that night, there is very little that separates the two Welsh regions according to O’Flaherty.
And the winger is similarly convinced that his team can upset the applecart at the Ricoh Arena when they meet some of the best sides England have to offer – starting with Newcastle Falcons in the quarter-finals.
“Being there for the first time will be more of an advantage than a hindrance,” said O’Flaherty. “The English clubs have not really seen us before and might not know what we’re about. And in a finals day anything can happen.
“We were unlucky not to beat Cardiff, it’s a chance for everyone to have a go and show what they can do.
“It’s a great chance to be able to wear the Ospreys jersey early in the season, a lot of guys are wanting to push on and play at the highest level they can.
“It’s undoubtedly going to be tough, but I don’t think they’ve got the edge over us at all. We’ve got a few different players in, it’s a great opportunity for both sides.”
In all likelihood there will be a new name etched on the Singha 7s trophy with Falcons just one of the eight finalists to have won the competition before.
The Ospreys have some experienced heads among their ranks as Steff Andrews captains the side in his third year of Singha 7s action, with Wales 7s internationals Morgan Williams and Chris Knight also featuring.
But O’Flaherty insists the hunger within the camp could be what separates them from the rest.
“We’re all looking forward to it, we’ve got a young squad and we feel comfortable and now we’re just raring to go,” he added.
“It’s a great platform for everyone to show what they’ve got, showing they can go onto the bigger stage and that will be key for us.”
Eight teams will play for the first silverware of the season in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals from 2pm at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Sunday 7 August. For tickets visit wasps.co.uk/tickets