Academy Manager takes the helm for Falcons in 2014's Summer of Sevens
Academy Manager Mark Laycock will once again take charge of the Falcons 7’s outfit for this summer’s Premiership Rugby 7s series, starting with the Northern round at Darlington DMP’s Northern Echo Arena on August 2nd.
Laycock has enjoyed huge success with the Falcons 7’s team over the years, guiding them to triumphs in the Melrose 7s, the Middlesex 7s, group stage wins in two of the three group stages of the Premiership series contested and the 2011 overall triumph.
With an impressive run of results, the Academy Manager could be described as having a Midas touch when it comes to 7s however Laycock, says that it is not a set way to secure success.
"I am passionate about 7s and the reality is that every squad is different so I don't think there is a successful formula other than trying to get the players to gel together quickly We have talented players who have bought into what we are doing as a group and have worked extremely hard for each other,"
"Hopefully this year you will see a very committed and dogged performance and a showcase of the players' abilities, where that takes us we will have to wait and see."
Taking place at Darlington’s Northern Echo Arena on August 2nd, the Premiership Rugby 7s marks the start of the countdown to the start of the league proper in September and the new venue is something that Laycock believes will offer a different experience to his charges.
"We're really looking forward to going to Mowden Park for the 7s. It obviously would have been nice to christen the new pitch at KP but at the same time, Mowden have a fantastic stadium."
"We played a pre-season friendly there last season against Leeds and with it being a former football stadium it has all the fancy additions which was quite an eye opener to the players!"
"Hopefully it will still attract a big crowd because as well as promising to be a try fest this competition is an important part of the younger players' development."
"It's experiences like this that they can't really get outside of the Premiership when there are cameras everywhere, lots of noise in the stadium, lots of things going on in between matches which can be potential distractions and where their skills are under huge pressure."
"With Leicester Tigers, London Welsh and Sale Sharks providing the opposition in group D, Laycock insists he has no preconceptions as to who will be the form team in the competition."
"It's never easy to judge who the main competition is because you don't know how other teams will approach it; some will field youngsters and some will field senior players and internationals," he added.
"Our squad hasn't been finalised yet and as is always the case, preparation time is very limited so we are hoping that the plans we put into place work because there is no hiding place in 7s and no second chances!”
Tickets for the Group D event on August 2 are now on sale, priced at just £10 for adults and £5 for Under 16s for a full evening of high octane rugby.
Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling 0871 226 6060. Subsidised coach travel is operating from Kingston Park to Darlington, with full details of this and other travel options available here.