Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Chase Sevens Glory; Laycock's Men Face Final Reckoning at Twickenham

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Chase Sevens Glory; Laycock's Men Face Final Reckoning at Twickenham

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE Falcons have a chance of national silverware tonight as they travel to the Twickenham Stoop for the finals of the JP Morgan Premiership Sevens, writes MARK SMITH. Having won last week's northern regional leg in Stockport, the Falcons find themselves pooled with London Wasps and home side Harlequins, with Newcastle again tipped to be among the honours in the abbreviated code.

Played on a full-size pitch in two halves of seven minutes, the try-laden shortened format has proved a hit with spectators as it prepares to make its full Olympic debut in five years'' time.

With a national title and a considerable purse at stake this evening, the Falcons have again wheeled out their big guns in a bid to land the top prize.

"A lot of clubs are using it as a development tool for their academy lads, which is absolutely fine, but we have just gone in with the attitude we want silverware," said coach Mark Laycock, whose reputation as a sevens mastermind is growing at a rapid rate after travelling with the England squad for their recent European campaign.

"Our head coach Alan Tait has made pretty much everyone in the first team squad available.

"That makes my job much easier because I can now select whoever I want from that group to provide the right blend.

"He and the other coaches have been really supportive in terms of what we want to do in winning this competition.

"If we can deliver national silverware to the club then hopefully we can take that momentum into the 15-a-side game."

After victories over Sale Sharks, Worcester and Leicester in last weekend's regionals Laycock has made just one change to his 12-man squad. Rugby league recruit Rikki Sheriffe takes the place of Luke Eves.

Laycock added: "If you look at the make-up of the squad we had last weekend it suited us to play a more direct offloading game. …

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