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Rugby 7s general chat

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
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:
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.

The ARU Pathway to Gold recognises that there is a parallel pathway for the young elite schoolkids in the sevens stream.

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?


Will Genia (78)
Staff member
7s for the Olympics should involve drafting in some Wallabies in the few months before the Olympics.

Our best rugby players who have the right characteristics for 7s would smash the Thunderbolts with minimal training. The core rugby skills are the same and there is a vast gulf between our current national 7s players and the best players in Australian rugby.


Alan Cameron (40)
australia seem to use sevens as a pathway from schools to super rugby. Many of the other nations (including NZ, SA, and england) have career sevens players. Maybe for 2016 we should be looking at developing some Pro sevens players ourselves?


Phil Kearns (64)
But, seriously, Braveheart is right (and so am I, I have said the same thing consistently).

We could certainly give it a nudge, but it would be at a cost, the cost of taking several Wobblies out of the 15s programme and giving them a full circuit of IRB Sevens.

If we were picking an Olympic squad today, that would mean players like Higginbum (he would be ideal), Hooper, maybe Dennis for his grunt and no-frills, no-errors play, Mowen, Mogg, Speight (when available for national selection), CFS, and a couple of playmakers - you would not expect to get Genia, JOC (James O'Connor), Beale (because they are irreplaceable in the 15s squads), maybe Lucas and Foley. However, Sevens playmakers seem to me to be born, and not manufactured. Although they do need a lot of playing experience in the game.


Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I don't think you'd need to even go as far as giving them an entire circuit on the IRB 7s.

Maybe put a couple of players in that circuit for the year but I think you could draft in the the bulk of the team a couple of months before and put them through lots of training.

As wamberal says, a team of Wallabies with the right characteristics would be very strong. At the end of the day, 7s comes down to being really fit, lots of support play, making one on one tackles and beating your opposite man.

I am going to back JOC (James O'Connor) to win a one on one contest with James Stannard a hell of a lot more than he will lose it for example (in both attack and defence). Mogg would be faster than any current player we have in our 7s squad.


Dick Tooth (41)
The Qualifying process is:

The first qualifying stage is planned to be the 2014–2015 men's and women's IRB World Sevens Series, with the top four teams of each sex at the end of that season advancing to the Games. Qualifying will continue with regional tournaments and a final worldwide Olympic qualifier. Should any of the three teams (Wales, Scotland, England) finish in a qualifying spot at any stage, Great Britain will send a team to the Games


Stirling Mortlock (74)
If Fiji do not make the top 4 we will be facing a playoff with Samoa and Fiji for 1 spot. There is a final qualifier however which we might make.


Bill McLean (32)
If Fiji do not make the top 4 we will be facing a playoff with Samoa and Fiji for 1 spot. There is a final qualifier however which we might make.

That's why all the talk about Australia's Rugby 7s chances at the Olympics seems premature. From this article, the impression is that the ARU considers Australia are going to be there.


What happens if Australia misses qualification? Finishing 8th this season is probably a fair indication of where the team is at.


Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I think you can also guarantee that Australia will be putting a big effort into qualifying for this. The ARU will view it as critical as a top 3 side in the world (in the 15 man game) and the AOC will be very keen for Australia to qualify as they will view it as a medal chance.

I think once the qualification process is finalised you'll find that the top tier nations will put more effort into making sure they make it.

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
The ARU need to give opportunities for our best 15's players to play some 7's. Even if it's just in the form of 1 tournament before the super rugby season between super rugby sides (and other invited teams to fill the numbers). We need a way of identifying which players will be ideal for the olympics. Plus, if you get the big names playing 7's maybe you can create an event that would fill a stadium and be attractive to broadcasters. Rugby League used to do this with their 'World 7's' and will next year have a 9's tournament in Auckland involving their stars.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
I think it has to be more than just a series of occasional one off pre-season contests for the 15 aside boys.

Something like the Big Bash Cricket with a Tour around the major centres (on FTA), perhaps based around the 5 Soup teams, plus 3 others ARU 7's academy teams to make up an 8 team tournament. 2 pools of 4 play 3 games each before knock out semis and finals. Have local schoolboys and womens 7's games going on to fill in time while the teams recover between games.

Play Saturdays and Wednesdays with the tour playing Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Newcastle. Wednesday is highlights and Finals on FTA (SBS), Saturday is all day coverage.

Have it all over and done with in the summer period when there is little else sportwise on the tele.

Possibly run it again during the Wobs Spring NH tour. You wouldn't have the first choice Wobs available, but this would provide an opportunity for the second choices to demonstrate how good they are.


Dick Tooth (41)
What about the current OLympic champions USA? Shouldn't they get a spot as well for being the defending champions?

As far as I know defending Olympic champions don't automatically qualify in any sport. Every Olympic entrant has to qualify or meet minimum qualification times. Happy to be corrected on that one though!

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
You are trolling surely. Rugby was last played at the olympics as a 15 aside game in 1924.

Automatic qualification for the gold medalists from 92 years ago would be akin to having the country that won the 4x400 metre relay Gold in 1924 granted a start in the final of the 4x100 metre relay in 2016.

Good trivia question though - Who is the defending Olympic Gold Medallist for Rugby? A. USA, 1924