Lucas blazing his own path

by Sam Phillips

The Lucas name is synonymous with both Queensland and Australian rugby.

All four brothers - Ben, Matt, Tom and Isaac - have represented Australia in Sevens but Tom hasn't followed the path blazed by his two older brothers.

While both Ben and Matt used the Sevens as a pathway to Super Rugby contracts, Tom has his sights firmly set on two things - Commonwealth Games and World Cup gold.

"Being part of this program for five years now, we haven't really won much," Lucas told RUGBY.com.au.

"That's due to a couple of things.At just 23, Lucas is one of the more experienced heads in the Aussie Sevens setup. Photo: Getty Images"We've had coach reshuffles, massive flucs in and out with players so short term, we have a goal to just win something - we have the Comm Games coming up - gold there would be special, particularly on home soil.

"Then the World Cup in San Fran, two massive events that we'd love to win."

At 23, all Lucas has known post school is Sevens.

He made his World Series debut on the Gold Coast in 2013 and has been part of the furniture ever since.

He's been part of lofty highs and recently, some lows, both on the team and personal front.

On the team front, 2017 was a lean year, as Lucas watched close friends and long time teammates move on post Rio.

That has allowed for some regeneration of the squad under coach Andy Friend and now, Lucas is a leader among this group.

"I've obviously been in the program now for five or six years and I have watched that crop leave post Olympic cycle," he said.Lucas and the Aussie Sevens boys are on the rise. Photo: Getty Images"Something's really happening with this squad now and I relish taking the young boys and guiding them through.

"Captaining the side in Hong Kong - it's a great honour to captain your side in anything you do so it's a privilege when you do get that chance."

On the personal front, Lucas is back, fit and firing, after a lengthy layoff forced by a ruptured ACL suffered at the Las Vegas Sevens crippled his 2016 season.

He is a well rounded playmaker that the team needs to thrive and he credits his personal development to the hard yards Sevens demands.

"I feel like there is nothing better for a rugby player - whether that be a Sevens player or a 15s player - there is nothing better than to be playing Sevens," he said.

"It stretches your whole game and you can't hide at all - attack, defence, it has it all.

"I think it definitely makes you a better player in every sense of rugby."


Now that he is settled and back playing some brilliant rugby on field, Lucas and veteran James Stannard have been driving the winning culture that is clearly building within this current Aussie Sevens squad.

"It's just about that hard work and never giving up," Lucas said.

"Sevens is such a brutal game - the only way you get through it when you look at the most successful teams is just consistently working hard and working hard for each other.

"The South Africans were the dominant team last year and they just work hard together - we are trying to get that message through - the only way we can do that is to be together and really rip in.

"That's something that we as a squad - particularly Chucky and myself - we've been trying to work on, getting that close knit group.

"If you want to play for your mate it makes a world of difference on the field.Can Lucas and the Australian Sevens side match it with the Blitzboks? Photo: Getty Images"That camaraderie is exactly what we need going forward."

Lucas has been part of the Australian squad that has claimed three preseason Cup titles and that's evidence the talent is there.

The belief is now building and that can only come through time together, according to Lucas.

"Holding a squad together for a good number of tournaments is what you need to do and it's the only way to get better at Sevens," he said.

"The more you get under your belt, the better the team is.

"South Africa, England, even the US - they've been together a few years now.

"So if we can do that, there's no reason why we can't always be challenging at the World Series.

The Australian Sevens kick off their World Series campaign in Dubai on December 1, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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