Fly-half Joel looks ahead to this weekend's Premiership Rugby 7s in Northampton
Joel Matavesi says excitement is high within Newcastle Falcons’ squad for the 2018 Premiership Rugby 7s, as the first on-field action of the new season takes place at Franklins Gardens.
An established fixture of the build-up to the new campaign, the competition returns for a second year of Olympic format competition with the 22-year-old keen to get started.
Speaking after an energetic training session on Wednesday, Matavesi said, “It’s been a class week with a very young team where everyone is very excited to be back out playing.
“It’s the first time a lot of them will put the shirt on and play a bit of rugby and it has been a long time for a lot of us since we last played, so everyone is looking forward to Friday and Saturday.
“There are a few lads in who played in last year’s competition and the experience in the team will hopefully drive through from getting to the final. Hopefully, we can go one better this year and win the thing.”
With the competition broadcast live on BT Sport and featuring all 12 Gallagher Premiership Clubs, the 7s is a high profile beginning to the year and offers younger players included in the squads their first taste of all that is associated with top-flight rugby.
It is an experience that Matavesi says players do take in, even if when kick off comes it all fades away.
“It’s a massive step for everyone in the team. Once you start playing it does all become a bit of a blur and you do ignore those things, but when you’re out there warming up, you do take it all in and it helps you get excited,” he added.
Growing up in Cornwall, 7s is a game that the younger Matavesi has gained plenty of experience of over the years and he is looking forward to playing his part in the Falcons 2018 campaign.
He said: “I played a lot growing up in Cornwall in the summers and I played two tournaments with the Ospreys, so hopefully I can bring a little bit of experience and help the younger boys out.
“I’m going to hang out with the big boys and let the likes of Adam Radwan and Zach Kibirige do their thing, so you’ll see me in the middle of the pitch, passing the ball around and maybe adding a bit of size to the rucks!”
Newcastle Falcons kick off the 2018 Premiership Rugby 7s campaign at 6pm on Friday evening against defending champions Wasps, before facing Leicester Tigers at 8:56pm.
Both days of the competition will be broadcast live on BT Sport.