England Sevens international Richard de Carpentier will captain Worcester Warriors as they kick-off the new season in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series at Kingsholm on Thursday evening.
Warriors, who face Exeter Chiefs, Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby on the night, have named a squad that features a blend of youth and experience. The competition will be shown live on the new BT Sport channel.
Former England international scrum half Paul Hodgson takes a place in the squad while summer signing James Stephenson, who joined from Bedford Blues, will make his first appearance for Warriors.
England Under-20 ace Ben Howard, who shone in the tournament last season, again gets the chance to impress at Kingsholm and is joined by the likes of Max Stelling, Andrew Boyce, Josh Buggea, Tiff Eden and Tom Chapman from the Academy set-up.
Talented youngsters include centre Rhys Owen, who has represented England Counties, wing Reece Chapman-Carry, who is part of the AASE programme, and scrum half George de Cothi, a product of the King’s School who played for the Warriors Under-18s last season.
Academy Manager Mark Hewitt, who will coach the side on the night, said: “Dean Ryan is adamant that we are competitive every time we put a team on the field. Whether that is Cavaliers, Under-18s or Sevens, he wants us to compete.
“We will be training hard this week ahead of it and hopefully we can go down to Kingsholm and qualify for the next round and the Finals.
“We have got some players who have played at the top end of the Sevens series and international rugby. It is an exciting mix of a few senior lads and young guys who are keen to impress.
“Ben Howard had a great season last year and that all started when he went down to the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series. He put his hand up and everything clicked into place. Let’s hope this year some more of the young lads has a great night and the same impact as he did.”
Warriors Squad for J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s
1. Richard de Carpentier (c)
2. Josh Buggea
3. Andrew Boyce
4. James Stephenson
5. Paul Hodgson
6. Tom Chapman
7. Tiff Eden
8. Max Stelling
9. Rhys Owen
10. Ben Howard
11. Reece Chapman-Carry
12. George de Cothi
Thursday 1 August – Group A: Kingsholm
19.15 – Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby
19.40 – Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors
20.10 – Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby
20.35 – Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors
21.05 – Bath Rugby v Worcester Warriors
21.30 – Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby