WALES international Rhys Jones believes Newport Gwent Dragons will be even sharper when they head to the Twickenham Stoop for finals day of the Premiership Rugby 7s.
The Rodney Parade region produced a sterling display to qualify from the Welsh leg at the Arms Park last weekend, beating the Scarlets and Ospreys before drawing against Cardiff Blues after conceding a controversial last-gasp penalty try.
They will now head to home of Harlequins on Friday, August 8 to lock horns with the six English teams that qualify from tournaments in Gloucester, Northampton and Newcastle.
“There were mixed feelings after Cardiff,” said Cross Keys full-back/fly-half Jones, who narrowly missed out on selection for the Commonwealth Games.
“We only came together a couple of days before the tournament and did really well with a couple of the young boys standing out and showing some skills.
“But we were disappointed that we finished second after the last game ended up as a draw.
“On the positive side of things we qualified for the Stoop and that will be another great experience; hopefully we will be able to improve and do even better.
“It will be the best English teams and the top two regions so we will try to do Wales proud by putting in a big effort and coming out on top.
“We now know a bit more about each other and that makes it easy to read what our teammates are going to be doing.”
Jones and Dragons sevens captain Sam Cross are regulars with Wales in the IRB World Series and were charged with guiding their 10 teammates through the evening.
But the 26-year-old was full of praise for the way that the academy and Principality Premiership players took responsibility.
He said: “Me and Sam have a lot of experience in sevens and tried to lead the young boys but a lot of them stepped up, took it by the scruff of the neck and really performed.
“It was hard work with the short turnarounds – normally we play three games over a day – but the boys took it in their stride and gave it everything in every game.”
GROUP A: qualifiers – Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons; GROUP B (Thursday) – Gloucester, Bath, Exeter, London Irish; GROUP C (Friday) – Northampton, Harlequins, London Wasps, Saracens; GROUP D (Saturday): Newcastle, Leicester, Sale, London Welsh