Same Sam but different in return to Sevens

Fri, 22/01/2016, 09:00 pm
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Sam Figg will be surrounded by familiar faces on his return to the national Sevens fold, but he says he isn’t the same person he was the first time around.

Watching last November’s Oceanic tournament in which the Aussie men secured Olympic qualification, Figg briefly entertained a desire to make a Sevens comeback.

The 23-year-old would never have thought that fleeting consideration would become a reality just months later.

With a European trip planned, Figg received a call to train with the squad and that chance turned into a full-time contract.

The Randwick backrower had his opportunity when Michael Wells opted for a Super Rugby contract, leaving a void in the squad.

Figg said he has returned to the program a vastly different person to the teenager that played in the 2013 series.

“The first time I was in I was quite young and had a lot to learn,” he said.

“I think going away for a few years, growing up a bit, experiencing things outside of rugby has helped me grow up.

“There’s a big difference between 19 and 23 and moving out of home, getting a job in the real world, those kind of things, definitely makes you grow up.”

Sevens has also effectively grown up in Figg’s absence, with the program centralised in Sydney and contracted players full-time professionals.

Figg said the evolution of Sevens meant it was increasingly different to 15-man Rugby, something that will prove a learning challenge for him.

“I’m still playing a bit of 15s in my head,” he said.

“The more professional Sevens gets, the greater it is in difference to the 15s format so having a bit more experience at that top level is absolutely crucial.

“If I can get as many minutes as I can and just keep my head down, get stuck in and put in the performances I know I can, it’s going to put me in good stead for further performances down the line.

Physically Figg has had to trim down, already shifting four kgs since entering the program and there’s more where that came from, he said.

“In 15s it’s all about power and weight and strength,” he said.

“Immediately I’ve dropped down from 102 to 98 now and I’ve got to drop more to get that speed and fitness back.

"It’s not hard to lose weight when they're running you like they do."
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