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RUGBY UNION: Welsh relishing 7s final challenge
10:00am Friday 3rd August 2012 in Sport
LONDON Welsh hope to build on an excellent debut in the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership 7s Series when they contest the final tonight.
The Exiles face London Irish and hosts Bath in Pool B, with the top side going through to the final at The Rec.
Lyn Jones’ side, who will play their home games in the Aviva Premiership at the Kassam Stadium this season, impressed in qualifying.
Welsh beat Sale, Leicester and Northampton at Edgeley Park to set two tournament records with their total of 19 tries and the 52 points in the win against Leicester Tigers.
Ashley Smith will captain the side in the absence of Michael Hills and is keen to keep up the momentum.
“The team only met the day before so they did really well to gel in such a short time and perform so well on the night,” he said.
“The finals are going to be tough; I watched Pool C (in qualifying) and Bath did really well and London Irish only just came second in Pool A.
“But we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“We know it’s going to be hard, but I’m backing our team - we performed well at Sale and I’m sure we’ll do well again.”
Last season was a learning curve for Smith, who joined Welsh in 2011 on trial having come through the academy at Wasps, going on to make his Exiles debut in the Middlesex 7s.
He said: “I think it’s gone very well, I know I didn’t play week in, week out last season, but I’m hoping they’ll be more opportunities for me this season.
“Between the Premiership, the Amlin Challenge Cup and the LV=Cup the squad’s going to have to dig deep and fight for everything, because we don’t have one of the biggest squads in the Premiership.”
Saracens, Sale Sharks and Gloucester make up the other group, with the pool winners contesting the final.
To book tickets for the JPMorgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series finals, call 0844 448 1865 or visit www.bathrugby.com/tickets.
London Welsh 7s squad: Brierley, Smales, Rees, Evans, Hamilton, Nacamavuto, Frankland, De La Harpe, Tellwright, Banfield, Smith, Wood.
Sevens Finals fixtures
- Game 1: Saracens v Sale Sharks, 7pm
- Game 2: London Irish v LONDON WELSH, 7.25pm
- Game 3: Sale Sharks v Gloucester, 7.50pm
- Game 4: LONDON WELSH v Bath, 8.15pm
- Game 5: Saracens v Gloucester, 8.40pm
- Game 6: London Irish v Bath, 9.05pm
- Final: 1st Pool A v 1st Pool B, 9.40pm