Laycock’s Falcons ready to embrace Singha 7s pressure

Friday 29 July 2016 Written by: Adam

The shortened format of the game comes to Kingston Park Stadium from 3pm, when Newcastle will meet Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers in round-robin action, the top two teams on the day progressing to the finals at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on Sunday August 7.

Having won their home tournament on every occasion they have hosted it, Laycock said: “In a sense we have created pressure for ourselves by having such a successful run in our qualifying competitions, but I see that as a good thing.

“The players should be driven by the fact there is a lot of expectation on them, they should embrace that pressure and see it is a privilege that people think so highly of them based on their past exploits. That said, it is all about who does what on the day, and we have to show that we are worthy of the billing people are giving us.”

With Newcastle Falcons’ Marcus Watson currently in Brazil ahead of rugby sevens’ Olympic debut next month, Laycock believes there is no better time for people to come and sample the thrills and spills of the abbreviated code.

“Sevens is a really exciting version of the game and a fantastic way for non-rugby followers to maybe dip into the sport for the first time,” he said, with games 14 minutes in length and played on a full-size pitch,” he said.

“With the Olympic 7s coming up shortly the timing is fantastic for people to take a look at it, and they should be won over by the amount of tries, the speed of the game and fact it is shorter and snappier than 15s. It is a fun atmosphere in the stadium, you get six games in one afternoon and you are seeing some of the top young players in the country.”

The Falcons won the Premiership 7s title for the only time in their history back in 2011, but have a proud record in the format having also lifted the Middlesex 7s and Melrose 7s in the past decade.

Naming a strong squad for Saturday’s home showcase, Laycock said: “We have got a bit of sevens experience in there from guys who have played for us in the past. They will offer us some leadership but overall we are happy with the blend.

“Last year we brought in a lot of lads from the Scotland 7s squad. That was probably more of a one-off rather than a major change in club policy, simply because of fixture congestion and the fact we had so many injuries at the time, so we were unable to field many of our contracted players. We felt we had to look elsewhere to strengthen the squad but this year we are in a slightly different position whereby we can field a group predominantly of our own full-time players.

“We have a lot of play-makers in the squad and some good athletic, ball-handling forwards. We have to use that to our advantage, and with guys like Joel Hodgson, Ruaridh Dawson and Tom Catterick in those play-making roles we can hopefully create space and exploit it.”

Falcons season ticket holders are entitled to two free tickets for the Singha 7s if reserved by the deadline of 1pm on Friday. Season ticket holders can collect their season cards from the gazebo near the East Stand club shop from 1.30pm. Any packs not collected will be posted out. Due to building work the season ticket holders’ bar will not be available for this event. However, the Tap & Tackle is open as usual and there is a happy hour in the stadium bars from 1.30pm until 2.30pm.

Non-season ticket holders can gain entry to the Singha 7s for £20 premium seating, £10 standard seating and £5 for under-16s by calling 0871 226 6060. There is also a ‘sevens heaven’ offer for £100 which includes seven standard tickets and seven £10 vouchers to be redeemed against food, drink, programmes and merchandise on the day.

**Newcastle Falcons squad for Singha 7s:**

1 Dan Temm (captain)

2 Santiago Socino

3 Glen Young

4 Max Davies

5 Harrison Orr

6 Adam Radwan

7 Dan Marshall

8 Tom Catterick

9 Ruaridh Dawson

10 Joel Hodgson

11 Ben Stevenson

12 Tom Ffitch

**Leicester Tigers:**

1 Sam Lewis

2 Harry Mahoney

3 Charlton Kerr

4 Harry Simmons

5 Ben White (captain)

6 Sam Yawayawa

7 Jordan Olowofela

8 Freddie Tuilagi

9 Tommy Reffell

10 Tom Hardwick

11 Ollie Russell

12 Andy Brown

**Sale Sharks:**

1 Tom Curry

2 Ben Curry

3 Matt Postlethwaite

4 Andy Hughes

5 George Nott

6 James Mitchell (captain)

7 Curtis Langdon

8 Sam Bedlow

9 Paolo Odogwu

10 Nick Scott

11 Tom Morton

12 Charlie Venables

**Worcester Warriors:**

1 Tom Dodd

2 Jaike Carter

3 Sam Ripper-Smith

4 Huw Taylor (captain)

5 Ted Hill

6 Ben Fowles

7 Josh Adams

8 Tiff Eden

9 Harry Cochrane

10 Dion King

11 Jordan Ainslie

12 Craig Jackson

**Kick-off times:**

15:00 Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks

15:25 Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

15:55 Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks

16:20 Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors

16:50 Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors

17:15 Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers


Matt Turvey

Ben Blain

Hamish Smales

**Assistant referees:**

Adam Leal

James Clarke

Jamie Leahy

Callum Sharp

Anthony Woodthorpe

Veryan Boscawen