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Well the Super Sevens is now over for another season with the revised format and the core teams taking ownership to ensure a competitive series took place. We certainly saw a far more competitive series with the pack closing the gap on last year’s winners and runners up Samurai and The British Army who did not have it their own way. We saw the Wailers win Amsterdam and we saw more competitive games at every one of the Super Series events, with the likes of Olurun taking scalps and the improvement in both Kamikaze and Apache. The most improved team were the Pups by someway with a good blend in their squad and a work ethic as a collective group that Nick Warren and his off pitch team can be proud of. They certainly raised their game this season and will no doubt be even stronger next season. Samurai Barracudas managed to win the Series but it went to the wire being pushed all the way by the Pups and The Wailers which bodes well for next season. I have to pass comment on the colourful kits

that we have seen during the series and again this typifies the uniqueness and exuberance the game of 7s brings. For me the Samurai home kit at Middlesex was as they call it “sick” ( apparently means very good!!) followed by the retro hooper kit of The Pups......however I am not convinced on these all in one leisure suits...but I might be getting old!!!!..... I love the creativity that the teams are adopting and bring on the new stash for next season!!!! Now back to business and what players do I

think have stepped up and we should look to keep an eye on. I have picked 6 who I think are worthy a look and maybe an opportunity to mix it at England training camp over the next 12-18 months!! Jack Walsh came to the attention with

his impressive scrum half performances for Templars as they reached the final of Amsterdam. Unavailable for the start of the series he came into the Samurai Barracudas in Bath and more importantly played a key role in Newquay where he more than held his own amongst the players he was playing with, no mean feat for the 20 year old. His front line defending and sweeping was



brave and effective and his ability to move the ball or engage the break to manipulate the opposition got better and better. He needs to keep working on his conditioning and game but is certainly one for Ben Ryan to monitor as with another 12 months on the circuit, he will be more than ready to stake a claim for Ben to have a look at him. He followed up with an impressive performance at Middlesex where he guested for London Scottish, due to only being available at the last minute. The biggest compliment I can pay him is, had he been available earlier he would have been selected for the Samurai International team for Middlesex. James Stephenson, the live wire winger who

is a converted open side has fire, energy and is as brave as a lion. The effervescent hooker in 7s possesses pace and feet to unnerve any defence and his bravado should not be misread, as his work ethic and application on the pitch and attitude to training is focused and unrelenting. He will need to develop further so his step is as effective on both feet, and work on his spatial understanding but he is certainly worth a look come training camp time for Ben. Ed Telright. The young winger who is Sale

Academy bound is another young Samurai Barracuda who gained selection to the Samurai International Middlesex team through his consistent performances in the Super Sevens Series. He always beats the first man and was able to stretch defences with his pace. He continues to grow in understanding on when to go and when not and with further conditioning could be knocking at Ben Ryan’s door for an opportunity. Steven Wood of the Pups. The forward with

the blonde lions main hair is distinctive as he runs around on the pitch. His engine, desire and work ethic was there for all to see in the series and he was impressive on the deck and come 50/50 time. He was always a nuisance around the ball and looked comfortable with ball in hand. His performances were at the forefront of the Pups challenge for the series and gaining their first Super Sevens tournament win in Bath and their spirited showing the Middlesex 7s. He has the qualities in abundance you need to be successful in 7s and I would be interested to see him in an International training environment, as he strikes me as a player who would thrive on that challenge.

Luke Hume. This guy impressed me for The

Pups. He is a chippy halfback or flyhalf who is Iively with ball in hand. He has a trademark ball tuck and step and whilst you know it’s coming, stopping it is the issue. He is quick through on his on- line breaks and also links and supports well. Ben should have a little look to see if he is dual qualified ,if not Michael O’Connor should cast his eye. No coincidence that The Pups struggled in Newquay once he got injured. Jordan Burns. The young 17 year old Marauder

who took the Rosslyn Park 7s by storm for Epsom College this year, more than stepped up as a live wire in the series. We all know he clocked a 10.8 for the 100 but he more than coped with the physicality of the series. He is diminutive in stature but has good feet and is effective in completing his tackles. Very much a 2 year project but the 7s game could be his future as he debates whether he moves from the wing to scrum half in XV’s and Ben should track this guy as he completes his last year at school in 2011/12. What does it all mean for next year? The

foundations are there and the commitment from the teams so there is a product and brand to build on. The Series will need some Investment to improve the crowd attendance and marketing of the individual events, so standards can improve at the tournaments and they can continue to grow and flourish. The Series should continue to encourage and attract the participation of the developing nations such as we had this year in Brazil and maybe look to build on inviting some club sides who have a tradition in 7s such as Esher, or are local to the tournament venue, to further engage that local rugby population. If they can create enough investment for the core teams, perhaps develop and encourage women’s teams for each of the core sides to embrace the multiple gender 7s game we have, it will create more of a tribal following and further increase the fun competitive Series.

A good season for Super Series and one that has the potential to evolve....bring on 2012!!!

Cheers, Geezer

Issue 4 / / 27

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