7s veteran looking forward to captaining Falcons in this weekends Group D tournament
Fullback Tom Catterick is something of a regular feature when it comes to the Premiership Rugby 7s series, having lined up in all of the Falcons campaigns in the competition to date.
However in 2014, the 24 year old will be acting as captain as he and his teammates look to extend the club’s winning run in the tournament and keep intact their 100% record of qualifying for Finals night in each tournament they have contested.
It is an impressive run that has also seen the club win the group stage in the qualifying process however; the Darlington born back is not looking any further than the opening match on Saturday against Leicester Tigers.
“It’s tough to think past the first kick because anyone can beat anyone else on a given day because it relies so heavily on individuals working as hard as they can. “We’d obviously like to get through group stages this year and keep hold of that title of the group stages but we’re going to have to work hard, having Leicester, Sale and Welsh in the group.”
Part of the team that lifted the overall trophy in 2011, Catterick has progressed a lot as a player in that time and with a further season’s experience in the sevens, is a natural choice to lead the squad on the pitch who, sees enjoying the games as a key part to success.
“For me, the captaincy brings more responsibility but first and foremost, I’ll just be trying to play my game and enjoy it, and that will hopefully let the younger guys enjoy themselves and allow them to play with confidence.”
“I’d like to say I’m wiser but not sure other people would agree! In terms of keeping a cool head during the game I’ve certainly brought that on a bit and I think it always does help having been to tournaments before so I’ve been involved in 7s before so hopefully will draw on that experience and try to help the young lads.”
While the tournament offers a chance to get the competitive action of season 2014/2015 underway, Catterick suggests that it merely signifies the start of more hard work before the 15 man game starts in September.
“It will be good to start playing but sevens and the full game is massively different. Seven’s is rugby but it’s completely different game plans, with a lot more pressure put on an individual’s own skills.
Passes have to be accurate, instead of having five seconds to get through a ruck you have three, and it’s just so fast and intense. Especially now with the rucks in sevens, it never used to be much of a contact sport but now people compete that much harder you’ve got to be physical as well as quick and fit.”
Taking place at the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington, following slips in the construction schedule of the new 3g surface at Kingston Park, Catterick and his team mate’s Group D exploits will be taking place on his old stomping grounds and is adding to his anticipation of the day.
“It will mean something to run out down at Darlington, especially because I’ll have a few friends and family there. My mum and dad are back over from Kuwait so will be able to see me playing for the first time in a while.”
“It’s a slightly different ground to where I grew up, I grew up at the original Darlington Mowden Park, but the new place is a lovely ground to play at and I’ve been down to watch their first team a few times, it’s an awesome stadium so it’ll be good to see some old faces.”
Tickets for this weekends competition at the Northern Echo Arena are available to purchase by clicking here or by calling 0871 2266060 until 12Noon on Saturday August 2nd, when sales will switch to the box office and gates at the Darlington venue.