Saints’ Artemyev relishing facing compatriots at World Club 7s

Northampton Saints wing Vasily Artemyev is looking forward to facing his compatriots at the World Club 7s

Northampton Saints winger Vasily Artemyev may have helped his country to victory in the Rugby World Cup 7s bowl, but the flying Russian can’t wait to tackle his former team-mates at the World Club 7s.

The 26-year-old scored in Russia’s 29-5 bowl final win over Japan last month in his hometown of Moscow, but will line up on opposite sides to many of his countrymen if the Saints come up against VVA Moscow Region and Kuban Krasnador at Twickenham this August.

It is set to be a busy month of 7s action for Artemyev, who has been named in an experienced Northampton squad for the upcoming J.P Morgan Asset Management Premiership 7s Rugby Series.

And he can’t wait to get back into action and build on his success in the 7s format earlier this summer.

“It’s the first bit of rugby we’ve played this season, it’s a good opportunity to run out here at the Gardens and play a bit of rugby,” said Artemyev, who has nine tries in 31 games for the Saints.

“The World Cup 7s was in Moscow and it’s a very big step for Russian rugby in terms of hosting such a massive rugby tournament and hopefully it’s the first of many to come.

“The world Cup was a milestone, a step towards participation hopefully in the Olympics.

“There are still huge parts of Russia to be introduced to rugby and I think there are some positive steps being taken to introduce it into school curriculums in some parts of Russia.

“I always enjoyed playing 7s although I consider myself a professional 15s player, but in my position on the wing they do tend to play some 7s and in Russia the national team mostly consists of 15 players who have to switch and play both codes.

“For me it’s always been fun and a good experience and when I was younger it was a good building step for me in terms of game intensity and game physicality.”

But Artemyev – who also touched down against Ireland in the 2011 Rugby World Cup – admits he won’t be holding back when it comes to competing against former his former comrades.

“I always like spending time with my old friends and I’ve known many of them from a young age because the Russian rugby community is quite small so it’s always good to play against them and it’s quite fun,” he added.

The second leg of J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s will be at Franklin’s Gardens, the home of Northampton Saints, on Friday 2 August. For tickets and more information visit: www.jpmorgan7s.com or follow @jpmorganrugby7s

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