The country may be in the grip of winter but rugby fans from Olney can begin to think about dusting down their boots and registering their interest in the new season of the Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series.
An RFU-run community sevens' competition, the Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series sees the country’s best amateur teams come together to battle it out for glory.
More than 40 local qualifier events are set to take place between April and June next year, with one – the Olney Sevens – taking place in Milton Keynes on June 23, before regional finals and a national final later in the year.
Next year’s competition is set to be bigger and better than ever before with more local qualifiers, including women’s competitions and social tournaments, leaving Head of England Sevens Simon Amor urging teams to make the most of the opportunity by signing up.
“The growth of the Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series is fantastic for sevens in our country, providing a great opportunity for talented players across the country to compete on the national stage,” he said.
Now in its third year, the series aims to grow sevens rugby as well as increasing participation among men and women, attracting more than 10,000 players from all corners of the country in 2017.
Following the qualifiers, regional play offs will take place to decide the teams going through to the 24/Sevens national final – a vibrant combination of electric rugby, entertainment and live music to ensure a unique experience for both players and spectators alike.
Last year Northern Lights and Ilkley were crowned the women's and men's winners in the Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series national finals, held at Bath Rugby’s Recreation Ground, with the sport set to take centre stage yet again in 2018.
RFU rugby development officer Steve Grainger said: “The Secure Trading 24/Sevens series is growing year on year, welcoming teams and players from across England’s grassroots game. As the tournament grows, the quality of the game does too, with some fantastic rugby on display for spectators at every stage of the series.
“There has never been a more exciting time for rugby sevens as we get set to cheer on England Sevens at the Commonwealth Games in April and at the Sevens Rugby World Cup in July.
“We hope these major events will inspire new teams to enter the tournament and compete for the country’s highest national accolade in rugby sevens at a community level.”
Secure Trading 24/Sevens, is an exciting grassroots sevens competition run by England Rugby. The competition is open for all clubs and players, new and existing to enter, with local qualifiers taking place in 40 locations nationwide this summer. Visit www.englandrugby.com/24sevens to get involved.