FIVE years ago Aled Thomas was busy scoring the winning try as Wales claimed the Rugby Sevens World Cup crown, writes Sacha Clayton.

Now the new Gloucester Rugby signing is gearing up for the Premiership Rugby 7s and admits a repeat of his 2009 performance would be the perfect start to life in the South West.

Gloucester will take on Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs and London Irish on Thursday, looking to secure a spot in the Series Finals at the Twickenham Stoop on August 8.

Thomas will captain his new side who will be defending the crown they claimed last year and the former Scarlets man admits being champions brings its own pressures.

And the 29-year-old says he can't wait to get back into the thick of the action.

"I haven't played much sevens since the 2009 World Cup but I was at the Welsh Premiership 7s at the weekend and it definitely got me excited and now I'm itching to get going," he said.

"Now I'm really looking forward to pulling on the jersey for the first time, although I'm not excited for how my lungs are going to feel after!

"Scoring the winning try in the World Cup was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. So hopefully I can bring that experience to the table and help the team.

"But I don't really care if it's me scoring the tries or someone else because it's all about winning the matches.

"Ultimately that's the goal but, of course, it would be great to try and recreate that and get some more glory."

It will be the first time that Thomas has featured in the Premiership Rugby 7s but he is confident of slotting straight into the side and helping them regain their title.

"The squad is very talented and there is a lot of pace in there, which will be crucial," he added.

"This is a great way to kick off the season and play some competitive rugby.

"I think for us it's all about the pace and we have to play to our strengths.

"If we use our pace and ability and not get drawn into too much contact then we can be successful.

"We are definitely in it to win it but we have the added pressure of being champions so we will need to make sure we are ready to perform."

Also included in the Gloucester rugby 7s squad is Oli Thorley, the former Stow RFC youngster.

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