Welsh Regions join Premiership Rugby 7s Series

Wales will stage the first leg of the Premiership Rugby 7s Series, it was confirmed today.

On Saturday 26 July the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park will host the first leg of this year's tournament – now in its fifth year - with two of the Regions qualifying for the Series Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday 8 August.

"The bond between the Premiership Rugby clubs and our friends in the Welsh Regions gets stronger every year,"
said Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Mark McCafferty.

"I am delighted therefore to confirm that they will take part in the Premiership Rugby 7s. The tournament has grown each year and the participation of the Welsh Regions will take it to a new level."

Premiership Rugby can also confirm that all four group stages of the Premiership Rugby 7s and the Series Final will be covered live on BT Sport. The 2014 Premiership Rugby 7s Series Champion will go on to play in the World Club 7s on 16 and 17 August at Twickenham.

Mark Davies, Acting Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales which represents the four Welsh Regions said: "The Regions have never played each other in a 7s tournament before so there is a lot of pride at stake as well a the opportunity of a place in the Series Final and the chance to be part of what will be a very big family occasion up at the World Club 7s at Twickenham in August.

"We will create a festival of rugby on 26th July here in Cardiff showcasing not only the professional game in Wales but also the investment and progress being made in age-grade rugby and the women's game.

"Having announced our exciting three-year sponsorship agreement with BT Sport this week as well, it shows we have a positive partnership that will go forward between BT Sport and our four Welsh Regions.

"We know for sure that Anglo Welsh rugby contests ignite plenty of excitement and passion amongst our supporters and we hope our involvement will add a real edge to the event."

The 2014 Premiership Rugby 7s Series is split into four qualifying group stages, and a Series Final, contested by all 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs and the four Welsh Regions. 

Group A sees the four Welsh Regions kick off the tournament at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park contested by Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys, and Scarlets.

Chief Executive of the Cardiff Blues Richard Holland said: "Sevens is a fantastic and exciting game to watch and we are delighted and proud to play host to what will be a great all-Welsh festival of summer rugby.”

"The 7s comes to our home just a few weeks after hosting the Amlin Cup Final at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.  We look forward to welcoming everyone

"It's a great opportunity for our supporters to see our regional teams in action over the summer and we hope the Welsh teams will bring real quality and flair to the competition."

Thursday 31 July sees Gloucester Rugby host Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, and London Irish in Group B.

Twenty four hours later Group C features Northampton Saints, Harlequins, London Wasps and Saracens at Franklin's Gardens.

Completing the group stages on Saturday 2 August at Kingston Park, Newcastle are Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors who will take on the hosts Newcastle Falcons for a place in the Series Final in Group D.

• For tickets and more information visit: www.premiershiprugby.com/7s or follow @premrugby_7s

Group A
Saturday 26 July

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Teams: Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets

Group B
Thursday 31 July
Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester

Teams: Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, London Irish

Group C
Friday 1 August
Franklin's Gardens, Northampton

Teams: Harlequins, London Wasps, Northampton Saints and Saracens

Group D
Saturday 2 August
Kingston Park, Newcastle

Teams: Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors

Friday 8 August

Two qualifiers from each Group
The Twickenham Stoop