Premiership Rugby 7s ones to watch
The squads have been selected, the coaches briefed, and the sides are now all set to go for tomorrow’s Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens
Before the action gets underway, let’s first take a glance at the standout names representing the 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby sides at this weekend’s event.
Exeter Chiefs – Santiago Cordero:
Where better to begin than highlighting the talent of Chiefs’ Argentinian international winger Santiago Cordero?
The fast-paced stepping master demonstrated his talents after joining Exeter in February to help the Chiefs to top spot in the regular season.
The 33-cap international star exhibited moments of brilliance last campaign and with his speed and dynamism. The Chiefs have a real chance of bettering their best placed runners-up spot from 2016.
Saracens – Nick Tompkins:
Nick Tompkins may only be 23-years-old, but the Saracens and England Saxons centre has experience and talent well beyond his young age.
Since making his debut in 2012, the former England U20 player has demonstrated his ability with remarkable handling, tricky footwork and a reputation as a stern tackler.
If Tompkins can utilise his talents to perfection, he could excel in Group B featuring the likes of Leicester Tigers and last year’s runners-up Newcastle Falcons.
Gloucester Rugby – Gareth Evans:
A specialist of the shortened format – Gareth Evans is no stranger to competing in the Premiership Rugby Sevens Series.
Winning the competition with Gloucester in both 2013 and 2014, the 26-year-old flanker will lead from the front with a host of younger stars featuring for the Cherry and Whites.
Newcastle Falcons – Zach Kibirige:
23-year-old flanker Zach Kibirige is one of the finest sevens players on the circuit – representing England at the Rugby European Sevens Grand Prix Series event in Lyon, France in 2015.
Kibirige, who plays on the wing in the shortened format, didn’t feature last campaign as Newcastle reached the 2017 series final.
With exceptional pace and dynamism, the Teesside-born is set to star for the Falcons after dotting down his first Premiership try against Wasps in May 2018.
Bath Rugby – Tom de Glanville:
Son of former England captain Phil de Glanville, 18-year-old Tom is already following his father’s footsteps by plying his trade at Bath and featuring for England U18s.
With the ability to play several positions ranging from fly-half to wing – de Glanville is well suited to the sevens format.
Named in a Bath side alongside the experience of Chris Cook, Darren Allinson and Jack Wilson– the esteemed teenager will be hoping to secure Bath’s first ever Premiership Rugby Sevens title.
Leicester Tigers – Jonah Holmes:
Stockport-born winger Jonah Holmes is no stranger to appearing on the big stage.
Scoring eleven tries in his first ten games for Leicester Tigers since joining in 2017, Holmes brings pace, power and a shrewd mind to a youthful squad featuring new summer signing Sam Aspland-Robinson.
Sale Sharks – Arron Reed:
Sale Sharks have never reached the final of the Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, and winger Arron Reed will be hoping to transform the North West side’s fortunes on Friday.
Featuring in Group D with Harlequins and Bristol Bears, Reed brings sheer pace, impressive ball carrying technique and a talent of outwitting even the best of opponents.
Reed excelled in last year’s event – bowing out at the quarter-finals despite an impressive two tries against eventual winners Wasps.
Wasps – Owain James:
Two-time defending champions Wasps will have to rely on the endeavours of players like Owain James if the Coventry based side are to claim a record third Premiership Rugby Sevens title.
In a talented squad featuring several England Sevens circuit players, 21-year-old James will have to be at the peak of his powers to captain Wasps to victory against Northampton Saints and Gloucester Rugby in the group stages.
Nominated for Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player in 2017/18, James starred last competition by scoring a hatful of tries and making key contributions including a lung busting last ditch tackle against Sale Sharks.
Northampton Saints – Rory Hutchinson:
After the disappointment of dropping out at the group stages last campaign on points difference, hosts Northampton Saints will be hoping to wow the Saints faithful at Franklin’s Gardens.
Having featured in the European Rugby Champions Cup in 2017/18, Hutchinson has the talent and the experience to drive Northampton to the final in a similar vain to 2014.
The centre has excelled in previous year’s events, starring alongside Harry Mallinder in 2014 with a succession of crucial tries.
Worcester Warriors – Will Butler:
Former England U20 international Will Butler never seems to suffer from nerves on the big occasion.
Scoring two tries inside 11 minutes on his first Premiership start against Northampton Saints in May, the 20-year-old centre has bags of talent.
In a tough group with Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs, Butler’s leadership skills will be under the microscope as he has the task of leading the Warriors to a first ever Premiership Rugby Sevens final.
Harlequins – Calum Waters:
Calum Waters will captain Harlequins for a second time at the Premiership Rugby Sevens after leading the Quins two years ago.
The England U20 scrum-half has featured four times for the first team since making his senior debut for the Quins as a replacement and scored a try in the Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Exeter Chiefs.
Academy members Cadan Murley, Max Coyle, Harry Barlow will provide the threat out wide with former centre Jake Hennessey in the midfield.
Bristol Bears – Mike Uren:
Mike Uren is a versatile forward that will be featuring in a second Premiership Rugby Sevens competition.
His brother Steve is the youngest player in Bristol’s history to make a league appearance at the ripe age of 17 and 307 days in 2012, and other sibling Andy has also played for Bristol’s first team.