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MONTHLY // TEAM REVIEWS TEAM REVIEWS


EACH MONTH WE BRING YOU A REVIEW OF 4 OF THE TOP TEAMS IN EACH PLAYING BRACKET - ELITE, WOMENS, OPEN AND SOCIAL.


ELITE LEVEL


PHOTOGRAPHY BY RILEY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY - PUPS WIN THE WEST COUNTRY LEG OF THE SUPER SEVENS SERIES UK SOCIAL VIBE PUPS


Crows), the squad consisted of a group of students from Loughborough University and a couple of Welsh lads from Treorchy RFC who boarded the Swansea-Cork ferry to the Kinsale 7s. Even though several talented youngsters, who


When Pups Rugby won the 2011 West Country 7s in Bath, it signalled the emergence of a team finally ready to take their place at the top table of European club rugby sevens. Pups Rugby had arrived, and it had only taken nearly 20 years.... Formed in 1992 as the Stoned Pups (an academy side to the much fancied Stoned


would go on to become household rugby names, wore the baby pink jersey during those formative years - England’s World Cup-winning lock Ben Kay and Wales and Neath centre Jim Storey to name just two - the Pups were, in essence, a pub team who enjoyed the ‘craic’ off the field as much as their performances on it. Renowned for their garish pink kits, they quickly became an established, and popular, addition to the sevens circuit without ever managing to win a tournament. In 2005 it was agreed that a more professional


approach was needed to meet the ever increasing demands of a sevens circuit that was improving in standard and becoming more competitive each year. Rugby sevens was more than a social


event at the end of a tough season and good players were looking past the Pups to play for other more professional sides. The word ‘Stoned’ was dropped from the


team name as it created the wrong impression and Pups Rugby was reinvented while still retaining the hugely popular and identifiable baby pink jerseys. To signal their intent, the Pups entered


tournaments across Europe - the Marbella Sevens in the Costa Del Sol (formed by Pups chairman Nicholas Warren), Amsterdam and Rome, where their more professional approach and stronger playing squads paid immediate dividends in their performances and results. By 2008, Pups Rugby were fast establishing


a reputation as one of the leading sides on the European sevens circuit, attracting International- quality players such as Rhys Jones, Rhodri McAtee (both Wales 7s), Mark Odejobi (England 7s), Jeremy Manning (NZ 7s) and Dafydd James (Wales British Lions).


44 / www.ukrugbysevens.com / Issue 4


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