Sevens Captain Matthew King previews the season ahead:
Another 15’s season coming to an end only means one thing…rugby 7’s!
This year The Mouflons 7s team make their way to Malmo and Prague to battle it out with its fellow European nations, for what promises to be a fiercely competitive challenge.
Going off last year’s result the Cypriot nation have a lot to feel hopeful about. Whilst Cyprus struggled in Hungary with a weakened squad, they turned the competition on its head in Poland when they reached the final with only 9 men, only to get beat by the host nation is a close fought finale.
This year Cyprus are joined by one of Europe’s rugby playing giants, Ireland, who have recently turned their attention the fast paced version of the game. Ireland sailed through the second division competition last year in their first competitive European 7s, winning the final of Division B to Monaco convincingly.
Romania are also joining Cyprus in this year’s competitions having been relegated from the elite division last year. You may think relegation means they are a side that will struggle but the margins for error are so small at this standard that Romania will be no mean feat to overcome, and will certainly be up there as one of the favourites to win.
First up in the competition is the group stages. Cyprus have been lined up with Romania, Czech Republic and Sweden and will be looking to top their group and advance in to the knockout stages.
This year Cyprus have stepped up their game in the hunt for a first European 7s crown, and with the bitter taste of defeat at the hands of Poland in last year’s final still lingering, the boys are hungrier than ever to pull the jersey back on. The journey starts on May 7th in the UK as Cyprus 7’s travel to Scotland for the first of their warm up tournaments. Fitness and conditioning is already underway with Coach Ruaridh Pye putting the boys through their paces with tough regimes to ensure they are where they need to be to compete at the top. Ruaridh would know all about that having had a successful start to the 7s season working with Edinburgh and Scotland Rugby on the 7s circuit. Hopefully he can pass on this fine run of form to Cyprus who feel more confident than ever in the group they have.
This year sees some new faces entering the squad hoping to make a name for themselves. Back row forward Chris Joannou has thrown his hat in to the ring for the FIRA tournaments following a successful season being ‘the enforcer’ in the 15s. Andreas Zacharia has also made himself available having taken a few years away from the game. Whist he is not a new addition as such he will certainly add value in open space.
Cyprus this year are lucky enough to have been backed by Felix Frixou and his company ‘Benz Bavarian - Project Titan’. Without the support and generosity of Felix none of this would be possible, and Cyprus 7’s may not be competing where they are today. Project Titan takes the products of the most prestigious automotive manufacturers and strives to add even more luxury, unique style, class and excitement. All of the attributes of the Cyprus Titans!
A big thank you goes out to Benz Bavarian, the boys will do you proud!