Newcastle Falcons have named their squad for Friday night’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final.
The Falcons stormed into the sevens showpiece by virtue of wins over Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks in Group B of the competition.
And the North East club, who lifted the trophy in 2011 at the Twickenham Stoop, will be looking to repeat the feat in Bath this weekend.
Making his return from injury after a pivotal role at the back end of last season, Warren Fury brings a wealth of sevens international experience, having played for Wales and will skipper the Falcons this weekend.
“Preparations are going well and I’m looking forward to taking this group of players down to Bath this Friday,” said coach Calum MacRae.
“We’ve got a sevens session on Wednesday in which we will be debriefing the players on what went right and what we need to tighten up on.
“Defensively I think we can improve our intensity against teams with very able attackers – the likes of Saracens have some quality broken-field runners and we have to be structured against that.”
A Falcons outfit containing a string of talented local youngsters are set to do it all again this weekend after impressing in the group stages last Friday.
MacRae said: “Our young lads certainly stepped up to the mark last week and I was very impressed with all of them.
“Harrison Collins was in good form, and I thought that he adapted very well and wasn’t overawed by the occasion – as the tournament went on he grew in confidence.
“Chris Harris was very good with his leadership in defence really coming to the fore. He allowed the team to get some good shape on the back of his defensive work.
“Sean Brown also looked as if he had real ability, especially in one on one situations, and now I want to see him get his hands on the ball a little bit more. He’ll hopefully get some more game time on Friday so he can show us more of what he has to offer.”
Looking ahead at the challenges that the likes of Saracens and Gloucester will pose in the finals, MacRae added: “The level of competition is certainly going to step up considerably from the qualifying rounds. We just have to concentrate on ourselves, making sure that we take each tie as it comes, and having looked at some footage of the other teams we are aware of the strengths that they possess.
“We’ll be looking to adapt to that with the aim of putting as much pressure on the opposing teams as possible. If we do that and maintain our composure, and most importantly the boys go out there and express themselves, then ultimately we have a good opportunity to give a good account of ourselves.”
Newcastle Falcons: 1 Harrison Collins, 2 Ben Morris, 3 Richard Mayhew, 4 Glen Young, 5 Michael Tait, 6 Tom Catterick, 7 Chris York, 8 Warren Fury (c), 9 Andy Davies, 10 Joel Hodgson, 11 Sean Brown, 12 Simon Hammersley