Hutchinson: A star in the making

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

He’s the youngest member of the Australian Men’s Sevens team but Henry Hutchison has put himself well and truly in the Olympic frame.

Were it not for his custody of team mascot Wally, the responsibility of the youngest player, you could be forgiven for thinking he was a seasoned Sevens veteran.

Hutchison has made a speedy transition to Sevens since being picked up from Randwick in the Shute Shield last season.

He is Australia’s leading try scorer so far this season, with 11 tries from 15 World Series matches in just his first season with the team.

In front of a home crowd, the teenager showed composure to draw Australia level and then clinch an extra-time win for his team in their Cup Quarter-final against England.

The Sydney local proved it was that match-winning effort was no fluke with a brace in the Cup final, though the result was ultimately a heartbreaking now.

While the youngster looks cool and composed on the field, he said it was a nervous build up to the tournament.

It was a night of tossing and turning for Hutchison on Friday night, leading into the opening day of the inaugural Sydney tournament.

“I think I was up at four, up at five and I was up at six, just checking if it was time to get going,” he said.

Henry Hutchison showed potential in his first home World Series tournament

His wait dragged on when the coaches opted to leave him on ice during the side’s first pool game against Portugal.

“I didn’t get on in the first game so it was an even longer wait to put the boots on and run around,” he said.

“It’s been a big day, (there's been) a lot of media attention and eyes on us.”

Hutchison switched off his phone for much of the tournament, in a bid to maintain his focus.

Whatever his strategy it seems to be working for the youngster, who scored four tries on Sydney's finals day, including the critical quarter-final brace.

With his family watching on in the stands, Hutchison said the weekend felt even more special for him.

“I was absolutely stoked to get picked to play in this Sydney tournament and whatever game time I get I just take with both hands and seize the opportunity and see how it goes,” he said.

“I only joined in the last six months, pretty fresh out of school.

“I’ve been learning off guys like Ed Jenkins, Chucky Stannard and Lewis Holland.

“They’ve been in the game for so long and to come into an environment with such old heads in the team is really helpful.”

Jenkins was full of praise for the rookie, who was playing in his third World Series tournament.

“He’s been amazing,” he said.

“It’s across the whole board that guys have really stepped up and guys like as you said Henry Hutchison have had a great tournament thus far.”

Coach Andy Friend said Hutchison showed a glimpse of his potential in the tournament.

“He’s special isn’t he,” he said.

“Eighteen years of age, he’s got a big future ahead of him  and I thought he showed a lot of ability this weekend.”