The Qantas Australian Rugby Sevens program has been boosted with Men’s Sevens utility Sam Myers handed an improved, full-time contract while Cam Blades has been added to the coaching staff on a part-time basis.
23-year-old Myers made his IRB debut for the Men’s Sevens side in Port Elizabeth last December and has been a regular on the HSBC Sevens World Series ever since. The powerful Forbes flyer ended a strong campaign by being named in the Dream Team at the final event of the 2013/14 season in London.
Sam Myers said: “It’s awesome to have my contract upgraded. Before I was jumping in between jobs a bit but I’ve just finished my apprenticeship and this will now allow me to focus fully on Sevens. We obviously have the new Head Coach, there are a lot of fresh ideas and we’ve got the Gold Coast Sevens coming up in just over a month so for me it’s a case of getting my head down and training hard.
“I’ll be looking to improve my speed and strength in contact as well as my aerial work at set-piece and from restarts. There’s a new vibe about the place now with the new coach on board, and with the Olympic qualification period coming up there is a real buzz among the players.
Men’s Sevens Head Coach Geraint John said of Myers: “Sam went to quite a few tournaments last year as well as the Commonwealth Games and has all the attributes to be a top-class Rugby Sevens player. Sam has the physical stature, he is over 6’0 tall, and is powerful. He can play as a forward or a back, which I think is vital.
“Most importantly, in my opinion, he has the character and attitude to succeed.”
Meanwhile, Cam Blades has been added to the Australian Rugby Sevens program ranks as contact coach for the Men’s and Women’s teams.
John said: “I had a good chat with Tim Walsh [National Women’s Sevens Head Coach] after the Commonwealth Games and one of the key areas that we were keen to address across both the Men’s and Women’s programs was the contact area.
“Cam comes to us highly recommended by the ARU having worked with Southern Districts in Sydney’s Shute Shield and most recently, the Australian Under 20s side. I was actually speaking with the South African coach Neil Powell during the Comm Games and he said he had placed an awful lot of emphasis on the contact area.”
Blades also coached the Combined NSW-Queensland Country side against the British and Irish Lions in June 2013. In his playing days, he won one cap for the Wallabies against England while he also represented Australia A and the NSW Waratahs against the Lions in 2001.