Cardiff Blues ace Richard Smith admits the inaugural Premiership Rugby 7s Series at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park later this month is the perfect showcase for young players.
The iconic home of Cardiff Blues will host the opening games of the popular Premiership Rugby 7s Series on Saturday, July 26 with an evening of fast flowing summer rugby kicking off at 7.15pm with the Ospreys versus Cardiff Blues.
Six action-packed back-to-back contests between the four Welsh regions will make up the first leg (Group A) of this year’s 7s competition, now in its 5th year, in a new partnership between Premiership Rugby and Regional Rugby Wales (RRW).
And for former Wales Sevens star Smith the night promises to be a feast of attacking rugby.
“The new competition is a great showcase for all the players, and being a home tournament we want to put on a good show for our fans,” he said. “The BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park is our own field so we want to make it a fortress in any competition we play.
“I came from a Sevens background and that was the first professional environment I was involved in. It was a brilliant stepping stone to get into 15s and the way I have developed from Sevens has made me the player I am now.
“I definitely want to put in a good performance in this competition because any game is the best way to impress people. My focus is on playing well for Blues and kicking on this season.
“Sevens is great exposure to your skills and your defence. When you run out on the field you realise just how exposed you are. There is no hiding place and if our left hand pass is not as good as your right then it will show.
“The amount of times you get your hands on the ball, the technique of tackling with so much space to cover, you are tested. You take that into the 15s game and you feel so much sharper.”
The top two Welsh regions from the competition will qualify for the Series Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday 8th August.
And Smith believes all the regions will be keen to make the trip over the border to test themselves against the best of English rugby at the home of Harlequins.
He said: “It is a huge challenge to come out of the group stages as a Welsh qualifier and then go on and play the big Premiership teams in England. That is a huge incentive for all the regions.
“It’s difficult to predict what will happen on the night. There are a lot of young boys in the Blues squad who are talented so I expect big things in this competition – but I will keep names to myself so they surprise you all.
“It’s been going well in pre-season for us all,” he added. “Everyone is focussed on preparing well for when Mark Hammett comes over and making a good first impression because they last a long time. Everyone is keen for him to come over and get started.”
Smith also admitted the thoughts of the entire squad remain with injured team-mate Owen Williams adding: “Ows is a massive part of our squad and we’re all thinking of him all of the time. The messages of support he has received from around the rugby world is fantastic and when we go out on the field we want to perform for him.”
Ticket prices for the Premiership Rugby 7s Series at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park are just £5 for Season Ticket holders (£3 for concessions) £10 for other guests (£5 concessions). Standing tickets are prices £4 for adult Season Ticket holders and £8 for other guests.
To book you please click HERE or call 02920 302030.