Sevens duo excited for Wellington debuts

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australian Sevens debutant Simon Kennewell has had a taste of international success and it’s only made him hungry for more.

Kennewell was a member of the silver medal winning Commonwealth Youth Games team in Samoa last year, an experience for which he is still grateful..

“It was awesome going over to an event like the Commonwealth Games and representing Australia with about 60 other countries,” he said.

“To come away with a silver medal, was an awesome experience and definitely a great big learning curve.”

The thought that he could now be part of an Olympic program is beyond his wildest imaginations.

“The Olympics would be the ultimate dream,” he said.

“There are obviously still plenty of steps towards the Olympics but it’s there on the horizon.”

The 18-year-old came straight out of school Rugby to feature in the Sevens program and said he was still in disbelief that he could be a part of it.

Signed for the next two seasons, Kennewell is keeping his options for the future open, and is happy to entertain a permanent role in the Sevens or a path into Super Rugby.

For now, though, he’s just focusing on being able to live his dream.

“I’m here for the next two years and hopefully I can develop in Sevens and then see how I go after those two years (as to) whether I stay in Sevens or what happens,” he said.

“Either way I’m happy to be here and still pinching myself that I’m playing with guys like Pama Fou and Cam Clark.

“I just finished school, it’s my dream to be a professional rugby player and I’m just  amazed to be here.”

John Porch’s path to his debut was not as conventional as Kennewell’s, with the Tamworth junior moving to Sydney to realise his Rugby dream.

Porch, 23, has played Shute Shield with Northern Suburbs since moving to Sydney in 2013, after being a part of a Sevens school development program.

He was spotted, though, for his form for the North Harbour Rays in last year’s NRC.

The pair had their first taste of elite Sevens in the recent Coral Coast Sevens tournament.

Porch said playing against Fiji, a country where Rugby is the number one sport and Sevens is incredibly popular, was a great learning experience.

“The heat was very tough over there and the intensity the Fijians play their Rugby with is incredible,” he said.

Kennewell and Porch will feature in the Wellington Sevens squad to play on January 30-31.