The Australian Sevens program today announced that Cameron Clark has signed a new contract that will take him to the end of 2016 while Australian Youth Olympic Gold Medallist Dominique Du Toit has joined the Women's program on a national contract.
Twenty-one-year-old Clark has 21 Sevens World Series caps to his name since debuting for the Qantas Australian Men's team in Wellington in February 2012. To date, the Manly-based centre has scored a total of 497 points in his World Series career, a total that includes 51 tries.
The highly-rated centre was named in the 2013/14 IRB Men's Sevens Team of the Year.
Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Geraint John said: “Cam is one of the stalwarts of the Sevens program even though he’s still a pretty young player. He’s a real talent and someone we are keen to keep in the program for as long as we can obviously with the goal of going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Now that we have Cam’s commitment to the program hopefully it will show what we are trying to do within the program and it shows there is a longevity within the program too – we’re not just contracting players on a yearly basis.
“Everything he does, he just does exceptionally well. He’s a perfectionist and always does what is required of him. On the field, Cameron has the ability to score tries, he runs great lines, he’s very quick and also defensively very good too. He’s an important player in our squad.”
Outside back Du Toit was an integral member of the Australian Girls side that won a Gold Medal at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing as she scored eight tries throughout the campaign, including a stunning hat-trick in the Final against Canada. Du Toit has relocated from Toowoomba to Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Dominique Du Toit said: "It's very exciting for me. Ever since I was little I always had the ambition of being a professional athlete but you're never sure if it's going to happen. The aim over the coming months is to work on my speed and area of contact as well as strength.
"Nanjing was an awesome experience and one I will never forget though I would love to take part in the 'big' Olympics one day. It's going to be great training with the team each day - they are all so talented. One player I look up to has always been Emilee Cherry, we played through Touch Rugby together and now I get to train with her each day - she's an awesome player and so humble."
Qantas Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "Dom was a remarkable performer in Australia’s Youth Olympic Gold Medal-winning team. The time she has been at training we have already noticed that at such a young age she is a consummate professional. She has adapted to the professional environment extremely well and brings a point of difference to the squad. She has that awareness and ball playing ability that will be very interesting for us both now, and in the future.
“The future is looking extremely bright – you look at the graduates that have come through the Youth program and we’re in a really exciting spot. Charlotte Caslick is one of the best players in the world at the moment, Evania Pelite was on fire in Sao Paulo, then you have Tiana Penitani, Brooke Walker – the list goes on. Each year, the depth of talent just gets better and better. The knowledge of the girls is incredible – they know exactly what they are doing around the ruck, they have great strategies etc.
“We have a young team now. But then you look at the girls coming through and it’s a really exciting time for Australian Rugby. Looking at it, we don’t really know what is the best age or the peaking age for Rugby Sevens – but if the trend continues then perhaps we could be looking at that peak age of 20, 21 in the future? Who knows?""
CAMERON CLARK FACTFILE:
Born: 20 March 1993
Place of Birth: Auckland, New Zealand
Hometown: Sydney, New South Wales
Senior Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW
Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys (2011), Youth Commonwealth Games (2011), Commonwealth Games (2014)
DOMINIQUE DU TOIT FACTFILE:
Born: 19 May 1997
Place of Birth: Maronderra, Zimbabwe.
Hometown: Toowoomba, Queensland
Representative Honours: Youth Olympics (2014)