Speed will prove a crucial asset to the winners of this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series – and Joe Simpson believes London Wasps have gained a competitive edge after picking up some sprinting tips from some of Great Britain’s fastest. Team GB track stars Adam Gemili, the newly crowned European Under-23 100m champion, and Jeanette Kwayke paid a visit to Wasps’ training ground to lead a sprinting master class.
Tom Varndell, Charlie Hayter and Liam O’Neill were all put through their paces in the scorching heat and each received individual advice on their sprinting technique. Watching on keenly was scrum-half Joe Simpson, who opted out to rest up ahead of pre-season fitness tests, and the 25-year-old believes any piece of advice his team-mates can take into the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s series could make all the difference between winning and losing.
“We have been picking up a couple of tips ahead of the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s and seeing how we can improve our speed, getting out of the blocks and getting that initial burst of speed,” said Simpson. “That is the difference between getting through a gap or not, making the cover tackles or missing them – that’s winning or losing right there. Any improvement that we can get from different sports and athletics is one we share a lot of fundamental aspects with, any gain is perfect for us.”
Gemili, who reached the 100m semi-finals at the London 2012 Olympic Games last summer, was impressed by the talent that was on show and believes he has imparted some wisdom that the squad can use to their advantage in the upcoming season. “I used to play a bit of rugby as a kid so I’ve loved coming here and sharing my sprint knowledge with the guys. Rugby 7s is such an exciting sport to watch and the sheer pace of some of the lads who play it is incredible,” he said.
“Speed and power are big parts of their game so today Jeanette and I worked on a number of different elements that can help them with this. There are a few of the guys here who wouldn’t look out of place lining up on the track but fingers crossed for my sake they stick with rugby.”
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 @jpmorganrugby7s