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Men’s 7s Championship: Ones to Watch

The 2023 Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Series is in the launching pad for a summer of 7s as the team’s head to Vila Real de Santo António for the first leg of the competition.

We’ve picked some of the main stars of each side to watch out for.

Pol Pla (Spain)

Algarve will we ready to welcome one of the greatest ever players from the Los Leones 7’s team. Pol Pla will play in the first leg of the 2023 Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Series, and with the outstanding try-scorer machine on Spain’s side, they can be a force to be reckoned with. Pol Pla carved out some stunning records, scoring some of the most important tries in Spain’s rugby history, and will be hoping to secure another title for the current European Champions.

Jordan Conroy (Ireland)

One of the best players in the World Series, and one that possesses the power to steer Ireland to the Men’s Rugby Europe Sevens Championship series title and possible Olympic qualification. Jordan Conroy posses incredible pace and power, not to mention his hot-stepping!

Chris Umeh (Germany)

A gifted playmaker, Chris Umeh can be a problem for any side who treats him or Germany lightly, he has the ability to get to the try-line with just a flick of his fingers. This Germany squad is a is very well balanced team, as any player can be key for moving forward in the competition.

Ryan Godsmark (Belgium)

Be it in the XV or 7’s, Ryan Godsmark enhances any Belgian side, as the swift scrum-half helped his side win the second leg of the Challenger Series, and was vital in how they managed to defeat Chile and Tonga in their way to that historic victory. Witty, resourceful, and cunning, Godsmark is a major threat when there’s just an inch of space beside the ruck, quickly explore it to build a good attacking opportunity.

Temo Matiu (France)

If you like them big, dominant, and with a massive tackle rate then Temo Matiu is the player you are looking for! The loose forward have been rocking in the XV game, and now will have his chance in of the most challenging stage of 7's rugby. A formidable tackler, a trustworthy running support, and a genuine athlete, this is what Temo Matiu can do and so much more.

Massimo Cioffi (Italy)

Don’t blink, or you might miss Massimo Cioffi and we expect the Italian winger to shock some teams in the Sevens Championship Series. Last season he was one of the units that helped Italy land a spot in the 2023 Challenger series, side-stepping and hand-offing his tacklers out of his way.

Rodrigo Freudenthal (Portugal)

It is with no surprise that Rodrigo Freudenthal is the Portuguese candidate to keep your eyes on, due to his ability to lead his team, he is also often the last resort defender or charismatic playmaker. The Lobos 7’s captain is a sturdy tackler that can catch most sprinters who cut through the Portuguese defence.

Lasha Lomidze (Georgia)

Georgia has been building their 7’s squad in the past four years, and, in 2023, it seems they are ready to start an arm-wrestle with the top contenders. With players like Lasha Lomidze they can be real contender. Why? Lomidze isn’t a top try-scorer or a star line breaker, but he gets the job done. He is a tough unit to handle and will take more than one player to throw the big man to the ground. We are ready for Lasha Lomidze, let’s see if the opposition are also…

Kęstutis Karbauskas (Lithuania)

Lithuania has been on the rise for the last couple of years, thanks to star players like Kęstutis Karbauskas, who is already seen as one of the main threats in the Rugby Europe 7’s competitions. The back can just leave the opposition wondering “What happened”. Alongside the physical attributes, Kęstutis Karbauskas is a smart unit that is always making calculations about when and how to strike, and it is going to be interesting to see if he steals the show in 2023.

Femi Sofolarin (Great Britain)

A Swiss-army knife kind-of player, Femi Sofolarin has shone in the 2023 World Series, and it is expected to be one of Great Britain’s top units in the Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Series. The 22-year-old is a menace, skill-wise, delivering spicy steps that can tear massive chasms in the other team, paving the way for a great attacking move or even a try. The Scotsman will be a wonder to watch in either the Algarve or Hamburg 7’s.

Adam Miracky (Czechia)

In 2022, Adam Miracky scored 12 tries in the Sevens Championship Series, becoming one of the most impressive players in the competition, storming his rivals' defensive line like few others. A thrilling and exciting back, he is one of the most dangerous Czechia players in the squad and will catch most tacklers off-guard and bag a couple of tries in the Championship. 

Alexander Dinu (Romania)

Do you want to see big tackles that can pop the ball out of the ball carrier's hands? Well, then keep watching Alexander Dinu, as the back row is a powerful player that can bend any carrier or tackler, making sure Romania is on the front seat of getting closer to a win, or at least help his side to lock their try-area. The 21-year-old is already making a name for himself, and the 2023 Sevens Championship Series is the perfect stage to keep growing up. 

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