Classic Wallabies to feature in Sydney 7s

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

While the world’s best Rugby Sevens players take a break from the frenetic pace of the HSBC Sydney 7s, some of Australia’s Wallabies legends will take centre stage.

Two teams of former Wallabies will feature in a Queensland-NSW clash in the finals day of the competition.

Australian Women’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh devised the idea, which will feature some of the biggest names from the two states.

Wallabies centurion Nathan Sharpe will captain the Queensland team, which also features cult hero Radike Samo and Fijian magician Moses Raulini.

Dual international Lote Tuqiri, who now lives on the Gold Coast, will be donning the maroon.

Lote Tuqiri debuting for Aussie Sevens in 2003. Photo: Getty Images

The men from south of the border will be captained by Stephen Hoiles, who played a big role in bringing the idea to fruition.

Local club Randwick will have plenty of representation with 25-cap Test hooker Adam Freier, Morgan Turinui and Patrick Phibbs all donning the blue jerseys for the afternoon.

Hoiles has put himself in charge of NSW on and off the field and is confident the classic players will have plenty of talent to display.

“I know people have paid good money to see the best Sevens players in the world but who doesn’t want to see blokes like Adam Freier, Morgan Turinui and Nathan Sharpe in full flight one more time?,” he said.

“It will be a beautiful thing.”

“All players were excited to play in this game when asked, especially after they were told it will only go for ten minutes (2 x 5 min halves).

“The other positive is I don’t think there will be any judicial repercussion so it’s open slather!”

A young Stephen Hoiles represented the Wallabies and Sevens. Photo: Getty Images

Walsh has a long history with Sevens, part of the last team to win a title in Australia and said it would be a good way to help promote the game of Sevens, with plenty of those players having come through the pathway.

“It proves how strong the Sevens game is and how good it's been for the careers of these players, its value as an elite pathway and also as a great game and great spectacle in its own right,” he said.

“The boys will have a lot of fun out there on Sunday and I’m sure the crowd will get into it.”