Artemyev has recipe for Saints sevens success

SEVENS SPECIALIST - Vasily Artemyev will be involved for Saints on Friday night (picture by Linda Dawson)
SEVENS SPECIALIST - Vasily Artemyev will be involved for Saints on Friday night (picture by Linda Dawson)
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Saints will have a sevens specialist in their ranks when they take to the field at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night.

Wing Vasily Artemyev has spent the summer playing the shortened form of the game, starring in Russia’s World Cup campaign in his home city, Moscow.

The Bears didn’t have the best of starts, dropping out of the main competition in the pool stages, but they rebuilt to claim three wins on the final day and secure the Bowl.

Now Artemyev will be hoping for more sevens success at his club, who take on Leicester, Sale and Newcastle on home turf.

And the 26-year-old knows exactly what will be needed if he and his team-mates are to book their place in finals day at Bath’s Recreation Ground next Friday (August 9).

“It’s not enough just to look at the paper and see what players we’ve got, but obviously we won’t have a lack of motivation playing in front of our home crowd,” said Artemyev.

“It is going to be demanding. Sevens is a very demanding game and you can feel very tired and down during those games. It’s up to you to push yourself through and your team-mates to cheer you up to keep going.

“It’s very important to stay in those games until the very end. Sevens is a very short game and anything can happen in seconds really.

“You have to keep going and when you’re catching up with a team anything can happen. There have been plenty of games at the top level that have showed that.”

Artemyev’s experience is combined with plenty of youthful exuberance in Saints’ 12-man squad for the JP Morgan tournament.

England Under 20s players Alex Day, Will Hooley, Tom Stephenson and Tom Collins are also in the mix, as are young Moseley duo Buster Lawrence and Olly Robinson.

And Artemyev says he will do his best to guide the prodigious talents through as they aim to leave a lasting impression on the Saints management team ahead of the new Premiership season.

“Rugby sevens has always been considered a good stepping stone for young guys to prepare for the demands of the 15s game,” he said.

“For a lot of national teams in the World Series events they’re putting their young players through and you see a lot of them ending up in the main teams or in top clubs in their countries.

“It’s the same here (at Saints). We’ve got a vast amount of young talent here, who can face the intensity of these games and this massive pitch at the Gardens.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of running and tired faces, too, so it’s good for them to play at this level and to face some very good players.

“I will do my best to share some experiences that I’ve already had an hopefully we can connect well as a team.”

Saints squad: Artemyev, Collins, A Day, Glynn, Hooley, Olver, Stephenson; Diggin, Betts, Harry, Lawrence, Robinson

Pool B fixtures: Falcons v Saints (7.15pm), Tigers v Sharks (7.40pm), Tigers v Falcons (8.10pm), Saints v Sharks (8.35pm), Falcons v Sharks (9.05pm), Tigers v Saints (9.30pm)