J.P Morgan Asset Management Sevens Series
Wray looks to lead from the front
August 4, 2011
Wray will hope to lead Sarries to their second successive Sevens trophy © Getty Images
Back-row Jackson Wray believes leading Saracens to the successful defence of their J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series crown on Friday would be the perfect way to stake his claim for a starting spot.
The 20-year-old was a key feature of Sarries' 2010 Premiership Sevens winning squad last season before making nine appearances during the season that culminated in Mark McCall's men winning their first ever Premiership title.
Such was his Sevens form 12 months ago - helping Sarries to victory and an unblemished winning record - Wray has been made skipper this time around. And the St Albans side made a flying start to the competition, winning all three group games at Franklin's Gardens to romp into Friday's final at the Stoop.
There they will lock horns with last year's beaten finalists Harlequins but Wray believes his side will take some beating.
"I think the key to our success last year has been the fact that we're always looking to improve on every game," said Wray.
"We don't take anything for granted and we know we can't afford to take our foot off the pedal. We did that in our last group game against Gloucester and we almost paid the price.
"I think everyone has the desire to win. We're sportsmen at the end of the day and every time we go out onto the pitch we want to win the game. But we all want to put on a good show and try and catch the eye of the coaches and convince them that we're playing well and try and force our way into the first team.
"I think for me last season, winning the 7s competition was a great platform for the season and I put in some good performances and they were recognised and hopefully that can happen again this year."
While Saracens have splashed the cash this summer in a bid to retain their Premiership title and mount an assault on the Heineken Cup by bringing in fly-half Charlie Hodgson and South African prop John Smit - Wray is convinced that he will get his chance this season.
Owen Farrell was testament to the old adage that says you're old enough if you're good enough - and Wray believes a number of Sarries youngsters will be knocking on the door.
"The youth set-up at the moment is fantastic and there are a lot of young players emerging," he added. "And I think it's down to the coaches. They won't play you if they don't think you're ready but when they do it really gives you the confidence.
"They've shown confidence in you to pick you and show that in turn breeds confidence and on a personal level I'm just looking to get as many appearances under my belt as possible."
Tickets for the final of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series at the Twickenham Stoop are available through Ticket Master or on 0844 847 2492 or can be purchased at the ground on the night
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel