Rugby’s answer to Twenty20 set for curtain raiser
The Guiness Premiership is set to embrace the shortest format of rugby in a new summer series beginning later this month.
The JP Morgan Premiership 7’s Series will take place over four weeks in July and August beginning at the Twickenham Stoop on 16 July.
Twelve franchises, including Premiership holders Leicester, will be split into three groups of four teams with the winners of each event progressing through to the final in early August.
The tournament’s aim is to draw new fans into rugby by showcasing the talent on offer.
While 7’s is far more established than its cricket equivalent, it will be taking a leaf out of Twenty20’s book in creating a relaxed event with music and entertainment in between a number of 14 minute matches.
And England 7’s coach Ben Ryan believes it will be more than just an exciting advert for the game.
“The fact that we’ve got our young developing players a chance to play here, I can see them and hopefully this will form part of a more concrete pathway through to playing international sevens,” he told ESPN Scrum.
FRIDAY 16 JULY 2010, THE TWICKENHAM STOOP – J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 7S SERIES
Group A: Harlequins, Saracens, London Irish, London Wasps
FRIDAY 23 JULY 2010, WELFORD ROAD – J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 7S SERIES
Group B: Leeds Carnegie, Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks
FRIDAY 30 JULY, FRANKLIN’S GARDENS – J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 7S SERIES
Group C: Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Northampton Saints
FRIDAY 6 AUGUST, VENUE TBC – J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 7S SERIES
Final: Featuring the winner and runner up from each Group.