Saints young gun Sam Olver is gunning for more game-time this season after making his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut in May, and is hoping he has done enough to put his hand up again after Friday’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s midlands leg.
Saints were unlucky to ultimately finish at the foot of Group C of this year’s competition at the Ricoh Arena, where a win in their final clash against Harlequins would have seen them into next Friday’s Singha 7s final showcase at Twickenham Stoop.
Northampton ran out 31-12 winners in their first clash with Saracens, before going down 47-5 and 26-12 to strong Wasps and Harlequins sides respectively.
But Olver, already a World Rugby Under-20 Championship winner with England in 2014, skippered the side well and is now looking to push on in the Aviva Premiership Rugby.
“We are disappointed to miss out after that last game, but to be honest we put out a very young side and I thought overall they did extremely well,” he said.
“Starting out against Sarries we struggled in the first five minutes or so, but towards the end we came back to get a couple of tries, and did well to secure the first win.
“But against Wasps they had a really strong side out so it was always going to be tough, and we struggled a bit there.
“Then in our final game up until about three minutes to go it could have gone either way, and we were just unfortunate they slipped away from us with a couple of tries near the end.
“But the Ricoh Arena crowd was exceptional and I’m sure we can take a lot away from this experience.
“Hopefully now I’ll get my opportunity in the preseason games we have left and I can take my chance and kick on from there.
“Hopefully this season with the World Cup and then the internationals, there will more rotation and so more opportunities for the lads in the squad. Fingers crossed I get my chance.”
Wasps were the overall winners on the night, having fielded a very strong side including the likes of internationals Christian Wade - who ran in seven tries - and Elliot Daly.
And Olver admitted the opportunity to line up against players who have proven they can cut the mustard at the highest level is one all the Saints youngsters relish.
He said: “Playing against the likes of Christian Wade and Elliot Daly is a fantastic experience for all of us. I thought they performed exceptionally tonight and hopefully we can just learn off them, as they are international class players.
“It’s really exciting for us younger lads that they are out there with us, as you always want to be playing against those kinds of players and testing yourself against them.
“I remember my first Premiership 7s tournament, and it was a wonderful experience to play on the bigger stage.
“It just really brings you on as a player by exposing you to high-level rugby at such a young age, and it feels really good to get out in front of such a big crowd.”
Tickets for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series are now on sale. For full details see premiershiprugby.com/7s