Opportunity knocks for Dragons' sevens aces

First published in Sport

SEVENS coach Nick Wakley has told his young guns not to waste a golden opportunity to impress the Newport Gwent Dragons management team this weekend.

The Dragons take on their three regional rivals in the Premiership Rugby 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (7.15pm start).

They have named a 12-strong squad that is spearheaded by Wales internationals Rhys Jones and Sam Cross and features a plenty of exciting talent from the academy and Premiership.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones and head coach Kingsley Jones have brought in Wakley as a specialist sevens boss while they continue to prepare for the start of the Guinness Pro 12.

But the former Newport, Ebbw Vale and Pontypool utility back has told his charges that their bosses will be keen observers of events in the capital, presenting a chance to make an impression.

"This is a great opportunity, Lyn and Kingsley will be watching and this is a chance for them to see their young players in competitive rugby," said Wakley.

"It's early on in pre-season and I think it gives those that are playing a little bit of an edge over other members of the squad that aren't involved."

Wakley, who is backs coach at Glamorgan Wanderers, was in charge of London Welsh when the Exiles made it through to finals day in 2012.

The prize of a trip to the Twickenham Stoop to take on six English clubs on Friday, August 8 awaits two Welsh regions.

He said: "This weekend will be a great occasion for these boys to play in at a great ground and the experience of finals day at the Stoop would be absolutely brilliant.

"It was a sell-out at the Rec in Bath when I coached London Welsh in 2012 and the English teams go full out for this. It's a really well-run tournament and I hope that it goes just as well with the Welsh crowd."

The Dragons play the Scarlets in game two, the Ospreys in game three and hosts Cardiff Blues in game six. The four squads and full fixture details on page 35.

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