Having lit up last season’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, Newcastle Falcons flyer Adam Radwan is determined to do the same this weekend in Northampton.
A new two-day format sees the Falcons opening the tournament against holders Wasps on Friday at 6pm, followed by an 8.56pm encounter with Leicester Tigers. And Radwan, who scored in every single one of his appearances during last year’s competition, believes Newcastle have the firepower to mount a strong challenge for a trophy they last won back in 2011.
“I think the balance of the squad looks really good,” said the 19-year-old winger, who recently signed his first full-time contract with the club.
“I wouldn’t say we’re a pure power team or a pure speed team – we have a decent amount of both across the squad. There are some good ball-carriers and some more agile guys, and it’s an exciting mix when I look at what we’re putting out.
“We’re playing the first game of the tournament and opening up against the reigning champions, but that’s the way we like it. We want to go hard right from the off, really make a statement with a big performance first up and hopefully continue to build from there.
“We’re going down there to win the thing, and if you’re going to do that then you need to beat the best teams.”
England 7s flyer Cameron Cowell is among those expected to make their Falcons debuts during a competition which is being shown live on BT Sport, with the knock-out rounds played on Saturday. Fellow summer signing Gary Graham is also in line for a run-out after joining from Jersey, with Newcastle picking a squad almost exclusively made up of their full-time contracted players.
Radwan, who scored a sensational solo try from more than 100 metres out with his first touch in last season’s tournament, said: “Getting called up last year was a little bit out of the blue, but was a brilliant experience and something I’m keen to repeat.
“Last season I was at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, playing my rugby for Billingham RFC and then Darlington Mowden Park. That was great but this year I’m in a much better place because I’m training full-time, I’m in my first proper pre-season with the Falcons squad and am confident we can do well.
“Last year’s Singha 7s was really good, I enjoyed being on that stage and you can see the tournament is getting bigger every season. For lads like myself to be playing in front of a big crowd, live on TV, is a great opportunity. We can just come in, have a go and show what we’re all about.”
Radwan, who made his Falcons first team debut with an Anglo-Welsh Cup start away to Saracens last season, said: “I’ve played the last couple of years for the Wailers, who are one of the stronger invitational sevens sides.
“We’ve played tournaments in a load of different countries and done pretty well, and that environment has been massive for me. We’ve played some good quality sevens during that time and I believe it will stand me in good stead for this weekend in Northampton.
“We haven’t had a huge amount of preparation time specifically for the sevens but we’ve been in a very busy pre-season programme with the Falcons first team squad, and that ensures we’re in great physical condition.
“On top of that we’ve been doing a lot of skills work and have had a couple of sessions as a sevens squad, and we feel like we’re in a good place. The fitness and skill levels among the squad are really high, we’re all good rugby players and everyone just wants to get into the games now.”
For all details of the Singha 7s and to buy tickets go to www.premiershiprugby.com/
The only way to get all the live scores, tables and Saturday’s fixture list is via the FREE Premiership Rugby app, which will be working in real time via OPTA and is available to download now via the usual channels or by visiting www.premiershiprugby.com/app .