JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series
Olympic legend trains with Harlequins
ESPNscrum Staff
June 30, 2011

Harlequins cranked up their preparations for this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management 7s Series alongside triple Olympic gold-winning medallist Ben Ainslie on Thursday.

The world-famous sailor, who is set to grace the 2012 London Olympic Games, joined the Harlequins squad for a gruelling session at their Surrey Sports Park training base ahead of the opening event in this year's Series at The Rec on July 15.

Harlequins' 7s coach Howard Graham described Ainslie's presence as a 'huge boost' for the squad who face Premiership rivals Bath, Exeter and London Irish a fortnight's time. England 7s international Ollie Lindsay-Hague was hugely impressed with Ainslie, commenting, "It's not every day you get to train with a world class athlete so today has been a very special experience for me and the lads.

"As an Olympic athlete Ben keeps himself very fit, so we weren't the least bit surprised with how well he coped with the conditioning training and some of the gym work. He's a very impressive man and a fine athlete. It was great to get a few stories out of him about his Olympic experiences and how he prepares both physically and mentally ahead of competition. The lads in the sevens squad will certainly take a lot out of today as we prepare for the J.P. Morgan Sevens in July."

Ainslie, who is a keen rugby fan, also enjoyed the experience and wished Quins well for the challenge ahead. "Today was physically very challenging but hugely enjoyable," Ainslie said. "I'm pretty happy with where I am but there's always room for improvement, one of the key areas for me is body weight as I have to bulk up an extra 10 kilos of muscle to compete in the Finn, so being with the Quins sevens squad today and seeing how they train during pre-season has been an invaluable experience.

"I've definitely learnt a few new things which I'm going to include in my current fitness regime going forward. It's always good to meet new people too and I'm looking forward to seeing Ollie and the rest of the boys compete in the J.P. Morgan Sevens later in the summer."

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