NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) has nominated their squads for the upcoming National Youth 7s on the Sunshine Coast.
The three-day tournament – featuring Australia’s best up-and-coming 7s players – will run on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December.
NSWRU will enter two teams across the Youth Boys and Youth Girls divisions, as well as naming an U15 girls squad.
Traditionally, NSW have been strong performers in this competition and Pathways Coordinator, Matt Evrard said that the sides had been well prepared in recent weeks at NSWRU headquarters.
“They’ve had really good preparation, we’ve held weekend camps over the last five weeks which is on par with how we’ve done things in previous years,” Evrard said.
The Youth Girls squad will be looking to repeat their efforts in 2018, with both NSW sides reaching the Final.
“We’ve got the same coaching staff [as 2018], we had a young group last year so we’ve got a lot of players returning plus some new girls in the mix as well.”
The Youth Boys will be looking to continue an unprecedented run, being the competitions only winners since its inception.
Whilst confident in their preparation and the quality of the squad, Evrard expects the Youth Boys not to have it all their own way across the weekend.
“This year they’ll face a few more challenges with some players unavailable for selection for a variety of reasons, but that being said we’ve pulled a number of new exciting players from within our pathway into this sevens group,” Evrard added.
Evrard has recruited a large portion of his Youth Boys squad through NSW Rugby’s Gen Blue program, while the Youth Girls have been recruited from various school 7s tournaments and the AON 7s.
While chasing a positive result for NSW, this talented group of athletes will also have the opportunity to earn national selection.
“If you get picked up in an Australian Youth squad that sets you up for the next 12 months basically,” Evrard said.
“There’s a lot of great opportunities that will flow on from that with Youth Olympics, Youth Commonwealth Games all on the horizon.”
Ultimately, Evrard said that the experience as a whole would prove a great developer for a talented collective of players.
“The quality thing about sevens is that it’s the ultimate test of your individual skill, whether you’re pursuing 7s or 15s it doesn’t matter,” Evrard said.
“For those outside backs that think they’ve got a lot of speed, it’s their ultimate test, and same goes for forwards at the breakdown who don’t have two or three players in support [like 15s].
“It’s such a great skill development game.”
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