JP Morgan Premiership Rugby Sevens Series
Race hots up for Sevens glory
July 21, 2010
Leicester's Welford Road home will play host to the second event in this year's Premiership Rugby Sevens Series © Getty Images
The JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby Sevens Series reaches Welford Road on Friday night where hosts Leicester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sale will go head-to-head for a place in the tournament finale.
The action kicked off The Stoop in Twickenham last week where Saracens and Harlequins booked their passage through to The Rec on August 6 where the inaugural champions will be crowned. Another six games of fast-paced pool action at Welford Road will produce the next two qualifiers with the final places set to be decided at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens on July 30.
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has promised fans a glimpse into the future as he prepares to give some of the club's younger talent the chance to prove themselves. "Half of our first-team squad have come through the Academy and there will be guys playing on Friday who will emerge and come through to the first team," said Cockerill. "We have some quality young guys here. We want to put them on show and see what they can do."
Leeds Carnegie Academy Manager Mark Luffman is also excited by the prospect of his charges taking the next step in their professional development. "This is a fantastic opportunity for the lads. As a club we are proud of our record of giving young players the opportunity to perform on the biggest stages and that often brings the best out of them," he said.
"Playing at Welford Road on a Friday night under the floodlights will be special and something to savour for these guys. I know them very well, not just from their time at Leeds, but the majority of them played at Otley last season. They are a talented bunch and I am excited about Friday nights action."
Among Newcastle's main strike threats on the night will be former England Sevens wing Charlie Amesbury, while Scotland Under-20s star Michael Tait will also add plenty of pace and finishing ability out wide. As a result coach Mark Laycock is predicting plenty of running rugby from the new-look tournament. "Obviously having someone like Charlie Amesbury in our squad gives us a real strike threat which we will try and exploit," he commented. "But there is a mixture of Sevens experience and raw talent in this group which we will look to use for what we know will be a tough competition."
Group B Draw:
Leicester Tigers: Liam Holder, Jimmy Stevens, Gerard Mullen, Rob Conquest, Hamish Watson, Stephen Macaulay, Matt Everard, Tom Armes, Christophe Ridley, George Ford, Luke Veebel, Rory Lynn
Leeds Carnegie: Oli Stedman, Joe Barker, Richard Beck, Alex Rieder, Alex Black, Toby Quarendon, James Twomey, Oli Denton, Rob Almond, Curtis Wilson, Tom Barrett, Christian Georgiou
Newcastle Falcons: Steve Parsons, Aaron Myers, Sam Shires, Jack Smales, Peter Jericevich, Michael Tait, Charlie Amesbury, Sep Visser, Jack Harrison, Mike Ward, Tyson Lewis, Fred Burdon
Sale Sharks: Henry Thomas, Charlie Baleirara, Tom Taylor, Luke Raselala, Ben Davey, Fergus Mulchrone, Elliot Brierley, Will Cliff, Josh Fowles, Ed Stobart, Tom Brady, James Lewis
All four rounds of the tournament, including the final, will be broadcast LIVE from the grounds by ESPN in the UK.