The UR7s Championships is now only weeks away and we are taking a look at the sides that are taking part. Today is the turn of the Richmond Renegades.
With two tournament wins in their first five starts, the Richmond Renegades are not your typical sevens side. After making their debut in Yorkshire, the Gades have gone on to win 20 matches in all, beaten on just five occasions. And with bigger and better tournaments to come, there is no danger of the Gades becoming your archetypal elite sevens set-up with training sessions and retainer fees.
Two mates start a team. That's how it usually works, they organise a squad for a few tournaments and then it peters out. The Richmond Renegades were different and with 37 players having pulled on the black and gold of the Renegades in their five tournaments to date, long-term success and maintaining a hungry pool of players are still the objectives The Gades made their bow at Leo's Fest in Leeds in May 2016, finishing as runners-up and followed up their debut by appearing at Falcons 7s in the north east before going deep at Summer Social.
In the social tournament of Summer Social, the Gades won their group convincingly as well as their two knockout matches until they were narrowly beaten by Flair Bears - but they knew they had a tournament win in them.
And their maiden victory came at Swindon 7s - an England 24/7 qualifier - with a few injuries meaning they played they majority of the tournament with eight men.
Lifting the cup was the perfect end to the season and the Gades picked up where they left off at St Andrews 7s in 2017. The Gades beat GHA Crusaders en route to winning the coveted prize in Scotland - defeating Stirling University in the final -and have a busy schedule as they seek to improve on their 20-5 record this summer.
The Renegades have already started their season last weekend and are looking to play themselves into form over the coming weeks.
The Gades as they like to call themselves are coming in strong for the UR7s Championships next month where they will be taking on sides that of course do 'train' and organise themselves perhaps a little more than the Renegades profess to do themselves, how will these two different approaches fare on the fields of Basingstoke on May 13th. We are looking forward to finding out.