By Paul Smith, Sportsbeat – There has never been a more exciting time to prove your worth as a sevens rugby player according to England World Cup winner Will Greenwood.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s tournament, for which he is an ambassador, Greenwood claimed those involved may have a realistic chance of choosing between a push for England’s 2015 World Cup squad or alternatively the Rio Olympic Games a year later.
Sevens rugby will be part of Rio 2016, adding to the excitement at this year’s J.P. Morgan 7s, and Greenwood believes it is the ideal chance for young professionals at Aviva Premiership clubs to show what they can do.
"In 2010 when Saracens won the first tournament it was a bit of a toe in the water and since then it has grown year-on-year," said Greenwood. "You get a glimpse of the future in seeing a lot of the academy lads coming through.
"It’s a real opportunity for the coaches. You never know what you are going to get in terms of the players that will be there – either the next generation of England players or England players returning to form – but what you are absolutely guaranteed is pace, athleticism and fun.
"It is good for the academy lads who are pushing to try and get into their senior sides to showcase their talent before the season starts.
"If you are 18, 19 or 20 now and you have got bags of pace and commitment you have got wonderful choice – do I focus on my XVs and try and win a World Cup with England at Twickenham? Or do I switch and give Ben Ryan a call and try and play 7s and win an Olympic gold medal in Rio? Nice decisions to have."
The J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 1st August at Kingsholm with rounds at Franklin’s Gardens and Allianz Park and the final at The Recreation Ground. For tickets and more information visit: www.jpmorgan7s.com or follow @jpmorganrugby7