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RUGBY: Williams eyes Rio chance
10:40am Friday 22nd March 2013 in Sport
BATH centre Ben Williams is adamant this year’s J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series will help produce Britain’s first Olympians in the sport for almost a century.
The 23-year-old attended the launch and draw of this year’s Series at Allianz Park, home of Saracens, on Monday, where Bath were placed in Pool A with Gloucester, Exeter and Worcester.
Bath reached the Series Finals last year and acted as hosts but, despite beating London Welsh 24-7, they fell to London Irish at the Rec with the Exiles going on to defeat Gloucester for the title.
And, determined to get involved, Williams believes doing so will put him in line for the British team when rugby, in the form of sevens, makes its first Olympic appearance since Paris 1924 at Rio 2016.
“There’s so much interest in sevens these days. Obviously with the World Series and the J.P. Morgan Series now and especially with the Olympics coming up,” said Williams.
“It’s probably going to be some of the boys playing that are going to be representing Great Britain, so in that respect it’s a great stepping stone.
“It’s obviously a great stepping stone for the boys to make their mark in the Aviva Premiership as well and hopefully fight for a shirt later on in the season.
“I played a lot of school-boy stuff back in the day and sort of played when it was the old Middlesex Sevens as well, so I have done a fair bit.
“It gets a lot of positive coverage and stuff like that, so it’s definitely a competition I would love to be involved in, it’s such fun.”
The J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series gets under way in August but Williams knows there is plenty more on offer before then – namely a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs.
Bath are currently seventh in the Premiership, seven points off fourth, and also face Stade Francais in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals with Williams relishing the coming months.
“We’re climbing up the league slowly which is good and we’re heading in the right direction so we’ll be looking to really push strong for the rest of the season,” he added.
“The coach has really drilled it into us that whoever takes the pitch, whatever shirt you’re wearing, he wants us go out there with pride and play as well as we can, so we’ll be looking to do that.”
The final of J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s will be at The Recreation Ground, the home of Bath Rugby, on Friday 9 August. For tickets and more information visit: wwwjpmorgan7s.com or follow @jpmorganrugby7s
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