Young Ospreys players need to look no further for inspiration regional team-mate Rhys Webb, according to Aled Jenkins, as the Welsh region prepare to do battle at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s.
Webb has developed into one of Ospreys’ senior players since lifting the Rugby Sevens World Cup with Wales in 2009.
He is set for a huge role at this year’s World Cup under Warren Gatland and another batch of budding Ospreys will be seeking to emulate the scrum-half at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s later this month.
Indeed Jenkins is another Osprey with some serious 7s pedigree after first joining up with Wales for their trips to Dubai and South Africa last year.
And the centre, who also signed a development deal with Ospreys last summer, believes that the stars of tomorrow will be on display when the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on August 15.
“Webby’s a great player, down here you can tell in training he’s a cut above the rest,” said the 25-year-old.
“He came through the 7s and I watched a bit of footage on him when I was on the sevens circuit.
“He’s a class player and he rightly deserved to win the World Cup for that team. He’s got great speed and fitness and I’m sure he’d say he’s taken a lot of that from the sevens.
“In the sevens game there’s a lot of speedsters with a lot of space, that’s what people come to watch. We’ve got a lot of youngsters at the Ospreys who have got a lot of skills and pace, it’ll be good to see them on the day.
“It’s a chance to put their hands up and show what they’re worth. It’ll hopefully draw in some big crowds.
“I’ve got a close friend on the sevens circuit, Chris Knight, who plays for the Cardiff Blues so hopefully I’ll be able to one-up him on the day too!”
Twelve months before rugby returns to the Olympics – in Rio – Premiership Rugby continues to lead the way when it comes to club 7s. The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will be an important competition and will start a run-in to the Olympic Games when rugby will be firmly in the world spotlight. Jenkins will also be desperate to seize his chance after making his senior debut for Ospreys last year, and he’s adamant his sevens experience will stand him in good stead.
“Touring with Wales Sevens was a great experience,” he added
“I’ve been travelling the world playing sevens, and it was out of the blue to be honest – I didn’t think I was particularly a good sevens player, but I got into the environment.
“And when you get into that environment you gain so many little skills and I took to it like a duck to water. I really enjoyed it.
“The atmosphere in the places you go is ridiculous, and the rugby side of things it’s a quick and exciting game that tests your skills and fitness that aren’t tested so much in the XVs.
“It was the best thing to happen. It really boosted my confidence. Even though sevens is only seven minutes a half, the intensity is so much more. Coming back into the XVs game I felt much more comfortable and I could hit my top end for longer.”
Saturday 15 August - BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets
3.15pm - Ospreys v Cardiff Blues
3.40pm - Newport Gwent Dragons v Scarlets
4.10pm - Newport Gwent Dragons v Ospreys
4.35pm - Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
5.05pm - Ospreys v Scarlets
5.30pm - Newport Gwent Dragons v Cardiff BluesTickets are available to buy now at this link...