An interesting question has been posed on another thread, most likely the IRB Sevens thread. How do players get selected for the Thunderbolts (Aust 7's team)? The ARU tells us on their web site that this compromises the domestic 7's environment: http://www.rugby.com.au/sevens/Tournaments/Domestic.aspx 26th & 27th January, Darwin, NT, Hottest Sevens 9th February, Crescent Head, NSW, Crescent Head Sevens 16th February,Scone. NSW, Magic Millions Scone Sevens 16th February, Queanbeyan, NSW/ACT, Queanbeyan Sevens 16th February, Brisbane, QLD, Brisbane Sevens 23rd February, Kiama, NSW, Kiama Sevens 23rd February, Margaret River, WA, Margaret River Sevens 1st & 2nd March, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Ella Sevens Coffs Harbour 2nd March, ?, NSW, Sevens by the Sea 24th March, Randwick, NSW, Randwick Juniors Sevens 30th March, Bellvue Hull, NSW, Investec Schoolboy Rugby Sevens 13th & 14th April, Lane Cove, NSW, National Women's Sevens Championships 5th & 6th October, Noosa, QLD, Noosa Sevens 5th & 6th October, Townsville, Townsville Sevens 12th October, Mudgee, NSW, Mudgee Sevens 13th & 14th October, Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch - IRB Sevens Series 19th October, Elizabeth, SA, Elizabeth Sevens 19th October, Cairns, QLD, Ella Sevens Cairns 19th & 20th October, Byron Bay, NSW Byron Bay Sevens 26th October, Central Coast, NSW, Central Coast Sevens 2nd November, Brisbane, QLD, Ella Sevens Ballymore The actual dates each year may vary depending on the nearest Saturday, but these are generally long established tournaments that always happen around around about these dates. In addition there is the mid September, Canberra, ACT, Norths/Uni Canberra Junior 7s, that I know about. The majority of these tournaments are Club oriented, and aimed more at pre-season conditioning or post season touring than at developing players on the pathway to gold. There are only a couple of these that have a female component, and only a couple of tournaments for schoolboys and none specifically targetting schoolgirls. This is at best a very haphazard pathway to the casual observer. It may be slightly more organised on the inside, but unlike the structures we see in 15 aside rugby The National Male 7's squad has 3 players who do not even have a "proper" photo on the official ARU 7's website. http://www.rugby.com.au/sevens/Teams/QantasMensSevensSquad.aspx The ARU Pathway to Gold recognises that there is a parallel pathway for the young elite schoolkids in the sevens stream. http://www.rugby.com.au/tryrugby/PathwaytoGold.aspx Where are the State 7's squads (or Super Franchise 7s squads) and where/when do they play? How do they retain fitness and competitiveness in the 7's version? The hot topic in the "normal" rugby is the Third Tier. In Sevens, it seems that there is a bit of a haphazard Third/fourth Tier and no Second Tier Sevens. What would this Sevens 2nd Tier look like? This would be where the Thunderbolts should logically get their cattle from, and where aspirants should be able to develop and showcase their wares At the moment it would seem that the Thunderbolts are selected almost at random with little or no chance for smokies to get a gig. For a sport that we apparently are seriously attempting to obtain a Gold Medal at Rio Olympics in 3 years time, this is very haphazard and ad hoc, and hardly representative of a genuine Olympic Gold tilt.. Is ARU doing enough to foster Sevens? In the most recent organisational restructure in Rugby Central at St Leonards, Servo Pulveriser has established a General Manager 7's who is a direct report to him. Is this a case of too little too late, and can they put the necessary measures in place to institutionalise 7's excellence, and establish a factory that regularly produces quality 7's players (and coaches and administrators). Lots of questions and no answers. Discussion starters for a thread to discuss how we are going to win Gold in Rugby Sevens in Rio?