It’s 7s that is dominating the thoughts of Cardiff-born star Ben Roach and the Wales 7s star is determined to show his class by making it all the way to the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series final at the Ricoh Arena next month.
The carrot of playing and beating the best 7s sides the Aviva Premiership Rugby has to offer in Coventry on 7 August is high on Roach’s agenda.
With the Blues possessing a squad full of international class – Wales 7s starlets Adam Thomas, Owen Jenkins as well as Roach have all been recruited for the tournament – the Welsh region are high on confidence.
However Roach knows that first the Blues must rule the roost in Wales, with the Newport Gwent Dragons having won the tournament outright last year, when their campaign kicks off at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on 22 July.
“Playing against the English clubs is a big deal,” he said. “It is good to get through after playing against boys you know but the finals are another level, anything can happen and the English clubs are strong.
“We could be quite a strong contender this year, it is very good to go away and play against the English teams.
“I am set with the sevens at the moment, I am really enjoying my rugby and sevens is great exposure. It is tough, your skills are so under pressure, you make one mistake and it can cost a try.
“I am really excited for the Singha Premiership 7s. 15s is always in the back of your mind – it’s where I started – but I think I am doing OK in 7s, so fingers crossed I can do well this season and see where it takes me.”
Roach believes the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series is a great breeding ground for future PRO12 stars and admits he can’t wait to see the latest crop of youngsters who will be on show at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
The 22-year-old is a veteran of two previous Singha events and has also featured for the Wales’ Capital Region in the competition at the Stoop in South West London.
Having had a taste of the action and experienced the Singha 7s firsthand, Roach says he will relish the 2016 edition.
“I played last year and two years ago, it is a good tournament for bringing the youngsters through,” he added.
“It should be an exciting one, there’s a lot of talent out there, in the regions especially.
“The Blues went to the Stoop a couple of years ago and they have been quite competitive in the tournament itself since the regions started competing.
“Hopefully we will be competitive, but whoever the youngsters are playing for it is good that they can pull on that regional shirt and showcase their skills.
“If you make it through the finals day, it is great exposure and you can not only lay down a marker in 7s, but push for inclusion in thefull team once the league begins.
“There should be a good mixture of youngsters and experienced 7s players, those who have played before on the World Series.”
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 22 July at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park with the Finals at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets