Warriors have named their 12-man squad for this weekend’s Premiership Rugby Sevens at Franklin’s Gardens (27-28 July).
A young Worcester side will be led by Academy centre Will Butler, while fellow Academy players Tom Fawcett, Nick David and Luke Scully are also named in the squad.
In Friday’s pool stages, Warriors take on Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs in Pool C before the top eight-ranked teams compete for the Cup on Saturday, while the remaining four teams compete for the Plate.
The competition will be shown live on BT Sport with Warriors’ first game on Friday with Bath live at 5.53pm, before their clash with Exeter starts at 7.23pm.
Warriors Academy Manager Chim Gale said: “We’ve got a blend of young Academy players and some more experienced Sevens guys who are helping us out.
“It’s a great opportunity for some of the guys to pull on the Warriors jersey for the first time and test themselves on the big stage in front of the BT Sport cameras.
“We’ve also got some players who have represented the Club before at previous Sevens tournaments and also in the A League, so it’ll be good to see how they perform on what promises to be a warm weekend in Northampton.”
Warriors Premiership Rugby Sevens team
1 Michael Mellett – Winger Michael Mellett is no stranger to the Sevens circuit domestically and abroad. He has represented Irish Wolfhounds, Rambling Jesters and Susies Saloon – the latter with whom he won the Algarve Sevens earlier this summer. He also plays 15s rugby for Barnhall RFC in Ireland.
2 Zac Ward – Back row Zac Ward has been training with Warriors this summer and will combine studying at Hartpury College in the coming months with playing for Hartpury RFC in the Greene King IPA Championship.
3 Tom Fawcett – Tom Fawcett joined the Warriors Academy set-up at the age of 13 and has just begun his first year in the Senior Academy. The back row has represented England Sevens at the Youth Commonwealth Games, winning the silver medal in 2017. He has also represented England Under 17s and captained Warwick School last season.
4 Craig Jackson – Craig Jackson joins Warriors’ Sevens team off the back of playing for Scotland in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. Jackson has previously represented Warriors in the Premiership Sevens and also at the Rosslyn Park Floodlit Sevens. The versatile back plays his 15s rugby for Melrose RFC in Scotland.
5 George de Cothi – Scrum-half George de Cothi came through the Warriors Academy pathway before making 12 appearances for the first-team. He has featured for Warriors in previous Sevens tournaments and also represented the England Sevens Academy. Since leaving Warriors, De Cothi has played his 15s rugby at Loughborough University and more recently at Ampthill RFC in National League One.
6 Will Butler (C) – After making his Warriors first-team debut in Moscow against Enisei-STM in November 2016, Will Butler has gone on to feature five times for the first-team including a first Premiership appearance against Leicester Tigers last March and two tries in just 12 minutes on his first Premiership start against Northampton Saints in May. The centre also scored five tries in nine appearances as he captained Worcester Cavaliers to a third-place finish in the 2017/18 A League. On the international stage, Butler helped England Under 20s win the Six Nations in 2017 and was a key player in their run to the World Rugby Under 20 Championship final later that year. In 2018, Butler was again part of an England Under 20s side that was pipped to the Six Nations title by France on points difference and then by the same team in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship final. He also captained the team and now has 16 England Under 20s appearances to his name. Butler has represented Warriors in a number of previous Sevens tournaments.
7 Luke Scully – Fly-half Luke Scully has impressed in pre-season following his move to the Warriors Senior Academy earlier this summer. The youngster, who has represented Wales at Under 18 level, will be donning the Blue and Gold for the first time.
8 Nick David – Full-back Nick David featured in last year’s Premiership Sevens and shone for Worcester Cavaliers in last season’s A League campaign as he played six times in their third-place finish in the Northern Conference. David spent time with Stourbridge RFC during the 2017/18 campaign in National League One and has also represented England from Under 16 to 19 levels.
9 Jordan Ainslie – Winger Jordan Ainslie came through the Warriors Junior Academy before signing for England Sevens Academy. Now at Bath University, Ainslie has played in numerous Sevens tournaments domestically and abroad.
10 Naca Kinikinilau – Naca Kinikinilau is a mainstay on the Sevens circuit, having played for specialist side Rambling Jesters this summer. The centre plays his 15s rugby for Old Merchant Taylors’ RFC and will add experience to a young Warriors group.
11 Mason Tonks – Back Mason Tonks has represented England Academy Sevens and played for Gloucester Rugby at last year’s Premiership Rugby Sevens.
12 Joss Linney – Winger Josh Linney has represented specialist Sevens side Rambling Jesters this summer while he plays his 15s rugby for Bishops Stortford RFC in National One.
Warriors Premiership Sevens fixtures
Friday 27 July
Bath Rugby vs Warriors | 5.53pm
Exeter Chiefs vs Warriors | 7.23pm