Jonathon Bolter will be writing a weekly power rankings in the build up to National Sevens Series, whilst lifting the lid on which players could be turning out. We are now only just over two weeks away from the first leg of the National Sevens Series. This week saw the fantastic news that Sky Sports will be broadcasting the Series throughout the summer - things are certainly hotting up!
Jonathon Bolter will be writing a weekly power rankings in the build up to National Sevens Series, whilst lifting the lid on which players could be turning out.
We are now only just over two weeks away from the first leg of the National Sevens Series. This week saw the fantastic news that Sky Sports will be broadcasting the Series throughout the summer - things are certainly hotting up!
As predicted, this week sees the Power Rankings change somewhat due to the impact of the results in Amsterdam and registration of players.
1. Samurai International - If anyone wasn't sure whether these guys were still the team to beat, surely their minds are made up now. Samurai won their 6th consecutive Amsterdam Sevens title with a completely dominant performance in the final against the Millfield Old Boys. They were pushed close by the Pups in the semi-finals though, winning by just a solitary score, which goes some way to show that there will be a competitive balance this summer.
2. HFW Wailers - This should have been their weekend to stop the Samurai dominance in Amsterdam. The Wailers played some great rugby through the first day and half and looked very much like the team to beat. Benefiting from having Scot Riddell in the side, after being dropped by Scotland, the Wailers played power rugby whilst looking dangerous out wide with Tyson Lewis. Aaron Myers once again looked the complete package and he will be real signing for the Wailers once confirmed.
3. Gilbert Pups - The Pups have raced up the rankings in the first few weeks and their performance in Amsterdam only goes further to show that these guys will be a real force in the National Sevens Series this summer. The semi-final against Samurai was close but probably the right result. It is certainly something to build on for Nick Warren and his boys. The Pups will be skippered this summer by Rotherham man Neil Chivers and he will be ably supported by an Irish contingent that includes Munstermen Jeremy Manning and Nick Williams. It is early stages but these boys are a real dark horse for the title race
4. White Hart Marauders - The Marauders put out another young side in Amsterdam and this was probably their undoing, as had been the case in Bury. They played some great rugby early in the day but ran out of steam against an inspired Old Miffy team. The Marauders have done a great job blooding the young lads through the Academy and into senior side, but now is the time for the real Marauders to stand up. It’s going to be tough for the youngsters even, with the experience of Howard Graham et al, to really compete for the title due to the attritional nature of the 12 team tournament.
5. British Army - Struggling to place these guys as higher then 5th currently. But letting my heart rule my head for some reason, mainly due to finally being able to see the Army play this weekend, as they warm-up for the National Sevens Series at Bournemouth. I am sure that Director of Senior Rugby, Colonel Andy Allen, has them in peak condition, but to break back into the top of the power rankings they are going to need to win… and win well.
6. Olorun ID - Quiet down in the south-west this week with the ID boys planning their assault on RugbyRocks. My detective work has only uncovered that they are in discussions with former South African Sevens international Marc Demeringy. I last saw him play last season in Amsterdam for the welsh side, Plume of Feathers. He is a man mountain with IRB Sevens experience to boot. He will bring some size and power to an ID side, who often are said to be too small and reliant on playmakers.
7. Apache - Another side quiet this past week. Team Manager Adam Hurst has been putting the squad together for the Series. Although the team maybe hampered with injuries for RugbyRocks, the side is certainly looking powerful for the subsequent tournaments. One player missing for Richmond will be Chris Cracknell, who is going to donning the Apache shirt when he returns from England Sevens teammate Kevin Barrett’s wedding! Have a good one Kev! Cracknell’s experience will give the Henley men the experience and deft touch that they have been missing in the lead up to the series
8. Akuma Smurfs - After naming a number of Welsh internationals in their squad last week, things went quiet once more from the Smurfs. Although the performances of their stars in the Welsh jersey, by making the quarter-finals at last week’s London Sevens Twickenham, will surely give team manager Nathan Williams cause for optimism.
9. Raging Bull Ronin - Ronin have named and registered a squad that is heavily dominated by the recently relegated from National 1 outfit, Nuneaton RFC. This might give some cause for worry, but the boys have been together for a while and will have a real chemistry about them on the field. Ronin go to Germany this week for a training camp on an Army base. This could turn out to be an ideal training ground to propel the boys past the early season problems that were highlighted at Ashby.
The registration of players closes on Tuesday, so this time next week I am sure to have some juicy information to let you guys know about as the National Sevens Series. Things are really beginning to take shape.
Enjoy the Edinburgh Sevens and for those in South Africa a pulsating Super 14 final. In the UK it is the Guinness Premiership Final this weekend and congratulations to recently promoted Exeter Chiefs. I am sure we will see some of the boys on the National Series this summer.