With the Rio Olympics now in view 7s has never been bigger – and that is certainly the case for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series with this year’s edition kicking off in seven days on 1 August as Worcester Warriors head to Kingsholm.
And to mark this occasion a giant orange seven measuring a staggering 23 metres in width by 49 metres in length was unveiled at the venue today (Thursday) to signal the count down to the start of the tournament.
With all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs split across three regional rounds, the opening group of the tournament sees Warriors battle it out with Gloucester Rugby, Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs for a place in the Series Final at the Rec on Friday 9 August.
The series then moves to Northampton’s Franklin’s Gardens on the evening of Friday 2 August for Group B which is made up of Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks. Completing the group stages on Saturday 3 August at Saracens’ Allianz Park; Harlequins, holders London Irish and London Wasps will take on the hosts for a place in the Final.
Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio and rugby expert for BT Sport who will be showing the series live, knows a thing or two about how important 7s is having won the inaugural Rugby World Cup 7s in 1993 and he admits he can’t wait for this year’s competition to get underway.
“The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s is really the start of the season and it covers the opening few weekends and starts the coverage on BT Sport,” he said.
“7s is becoming such a massive sport. We have just had the Rugby 7s World Cup and we have 7s coming into the Olympic Games in 2016 and it has really been growing.
“Some of the stars of the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s tournament were the likes of Tom Homer who played for London Irish in the final, Matt Banahan who played for Bath, and this season Tom Varndell could feature for London Wasps and it will be very interesting.
“The only thing that is the same in the game of 7s since I played in the 1993 Rugby World Cup 7s is that there are seven players on the pitch. It is a much more dynamic and explosive game and one you are far better off watching than playing.
“I have always been a fan of 7s, particularly in the early stages of your career as it is a real development game and it is really growing across the world.”
The J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s starts on 1 August at Gloucester with rounds at Franklin’s Gardens, Allianz Park and the final at The Rec, Bath. For tickets and more information visit: ticketmaster.co.uk or follow @jpmorganrugby7s