Quins' Charlie Walker, Saracens' Hayden Thompson-Stringer and Wasps' Tom Howe © Getty Images
Rugby News Premiership Rugby 7s – Keep an eye on…
A tournament renowned for producing the stars of the future, there’s no doubt Harlequins, Saracens and Wasps will have some excellent young talent on show at this evening’s Premiership Rugby 7s at Franklin’s Gardens.
CHARLIE WALKER (21)
This evening, Charlie Walker will equal a Premiership Rugby 7s record of six tournaments and the young flyer will be hoping it’s the catapult for another impressive season in the Quins first team.
It was Walker who finished off Danny Care’s outrageous inside flick to score one of the tries of last season’s Heineken Cup against Clermont.
That was one of eight scores in 15 first team appearances at the Stoop in 2013/14 and a conversion of his prolific rate at crossing the line in the seven-man game – something that earned Walker an England 7s call-up in 2012.
The 21-year-old – who was a county champion over 100m at junior level - is also a Six Nations winner and Junior World Championship finalist with England Under-20.
Having started his season at the Premiership Rugby 7s, 2013/14 was to prove a real breakthrough for Ollie Lindsay-Hague in the Quins first team – the back three man making 19 appearances and crossing the whitewash five times in all three competitions.
Like Walker, form for Quins in the shortened version of the game earned Lindsay-Hague an England 7s call-up and he would make his bow in Las Vegas, going on to score nine times across four tournaments in the 2009/10 season.
Five more followed as England won the 2010 Dubai World Series leg before an Aviva Premiership debut for Quins in 2011.
Back row/second row
A Junior World champion in New Zealand over the summer, England Under-20 forward Hayden Thompson-Stringer also has pedigree in the 7s game, having won the Melrose tournament with Saracens in 2013.
That said, this evening will be the 19-year-old’s debut in the Premiership 7s as he looks to kickstart what could be a breakthrough season.
Capable of playing anywhere across the back five forward positions, Thompson-Stringer’s debut in the LV= Cup was followed by an Aviva Premiership bow at Leicester.
Given the competition for places in the Saracens pack, the youngster flexibility could well prove important as he looks to up his senior game time in 2014/15 and he can take heart from seeing the likes of Billy Vunipola, Jackson Wray and Will Fraser work their way through the Academy into the first team.
Scoring a try on your Premiership debut against Saracens isn’t a bad way to make a mark and that’s exactly what Tom Howe did last season as an 18-year-old.
An England Under-18 international, Howe comes off the same production line as Wasps stars Christian Wade, Elliot Daly and Joe Launchbury and this evening will be his second Premiership Rugby 7s Series.
Last year the wing crossed twice at Allianz Park playing alongside fellow wide-man Tom Varndell – equalling Wasps’ record tally for tries in the competition.