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Sevens comes so thick and fast throughout June, that often many players and spectators think that the season is over when pre-seasons start in mid-July, but though the bulk of the season is behind us, there is plenty of rugby 7s still to be played throughout the UK this summer and I personally am equally as excited by what is to come as what has been. We have seen quite an incredible month

of rugby at the elite end of the game with the 3 Super Sevens Series tournaments being a showcase for all things great about the invitational game in the UK. Though Samurai Barracudas ran out series winners only losing 1 game all season, the Series was more competitive than ever before with Pups, Sharks and Wailers making their first ever finals on a series, joining Marauders, Army and Samurai meaning that over 60% of the core sides have now made finals in only 7 tournaments (across the 2 seasons) which really shows the strength across the board of the series. Outside of the series, I have very much

enjoyed watching the Women’s and Open games at tournaments. England Women’s battle with Wooden Spoon has been the most enthralling rivalry of the summer; with England losing out in the final at Rugby Rocks and West Country 7s, it was nice to see both England sides give it their all in the final of Newquay. We can directly pinpoint England’s time spent at these tournaments playing quality opposition, putting the side in the best possible position to go on and win the European Championships in Romania, which they duly did at the weekend. The Women’s team, showed real foresight using the tournaments as warm-ups and they proved successful in the job they were aimed at. I equally enjoyed watching the open rugby

though, with the Carmarthen Warriors once again showing their strength by winning Rugby Rocks impressively and then going on to the


final at West Country 7s. The 7s game is only as strong as the number of sides at open and social level that support the game by playing in multiple tournaments, not necessarily about the quality they put on the field but just being consistently at tournaments. Special praise from me so far this season must go to the Godfathers, who have had a great season with regards to trophies, but also Storm 7 who recently won the Devon 7s but have also won the La Manga 7s this year and, always competitive in open tournaments, Olorun Phantoms are another, they play throughout the season and it was great to see them get some glory in winning the plate at Newquay in the open. It’s not fair of me to congratulate all of the

teams participating in multiple tournaments this summer, I know firsthand how hard it is to run a 7s team both on the financial and administrative sides of the game, but the UK is a world leader regarding the number of sides taking part in 7s and that is down to the managers of Open teams being dedicated to their task. As we look forwards, there is some great

rugby 7s still in front of us. Worthing 7s will see Samurai Barracudas and the British Army once again do battle at the end of July before both sides take to the field the following week as part of a strong line-up of Welsh Premiership sides at the famous Cwmtawe 7s on the first weekend of August. I personally always look forward to the Harpenden 7s, there always seems to be a slightly depressed touch to sides at the tournament as it really is the last one of the season but it’s been a brilliantly run tournament over the years and it’s important that sides flock there to keep it strong as a celebration at the end of the season. It was wonderful to see such a strong Samurai

side at Twickenham last week, they played some scintillating rugby throughout the day and though

Sam Edgerley of Esher quite rightly won player of the tournament in their run to the final, it was Samurai who won the day as Brazil won the spectators hearts. I hope Middlesex continues and the rumours are not true, as it’s a key part of the summer season. It would be remiss of me to not mention

the start of the JP Morgan Premiership Sevens that we have been covering on UR7s. I thoroughly enjoyed the first evening of rugby, it was great to see Premiership sides playing 7s in front of over 4000 people, which is a number I haven’t seen watching rugby at the same time since Bournemouth (excluding Middlesex). However I also acknowledge that readers of this magazine know their 7s and with that will also realise that Harlequins played some good rugby, but their opposition though full of great players, did not play very much 7s, Quins worked hard in defence, keeping their line brilliantly and playing very tight, whereas in attack Quins moved the ball well but they also supported the ball carrier, which the other 3 sides appeared not to do, hence the turnover count across the evening. There were some great performances outside of the Quins by Jack Arnott of Chiefs, Anthony Watson of London Irish and Will Skuse of Bath but Friday night proved that you cannot just turn up and play 7s, you have to spend some time on it, however good your players. The UK Rugby 7s Magazine appears to be

going from strength to strength, I love picking the magazine up at tournaments and reading all of the articles and as we move towards the end of the season, keep playing great rugby and enjoying the summer and you never know, you might end up in the next issue!

Tom Burwell Ultimate Rugby Sevens “For Everything Sevens”

20 / / Issue 4

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