National Sevens: Wallaby Burgess bitten by Sevens bug

by Marty Cambridge

Former Wallaby Luke Burgess is cutting his teeth in the coaching game steering the Tasmanian Women’s team at the National Sevens Championships in Adelaide this weekend.

The 37-Test national team scrumhalf has moved to Tasmania and got bitten by the coaching bug putting his hand up to help the Tasmanian girls.

“It’s great fun, these girls are wonderful,” Burgess said.

“Some of them had never touched a Rugby ball until about six weeks ago so it’s a massive learning curve but they are really loving it.

“It’s a wonderful tournament here in Adelaide.”

Burgess says the gold medal win by the Australian Women’s team at the Rio Olympics has seen a massive surge of interest in the women’s game in Australia.

“Yeah we’ve got the girls to thank for that,” he said. “You can see the rewards here, Tasmania has a team. There’s some amazing athletes and the standard is very high.

Former Wallaby Luke Burgess is coaching the Tasmanian Women's Sevens team in Adelaide this weekend. Photo: Getty Images“Girls are coming out of the woodwork (in Tasmania) and they’re ringing up saying they want to play Rugby. 

“That’s all because of what those girls achieved (over in Rio).

“Sevens is a wonderful game and a great access point to come into the sport.”

It was tough Day One of the Nationals for the Tassie girls going down to a National Indigenous team 52-0 as well as NSW (Light Blue) 57-0 and NSW (Dark Blue) 55-0.

Burgess said he had found coaching to be totally different to playing.

“Yeah it’s challenging, it’s totally different on the other side and you’ve got to organized,” he added.

And his thoughts on how the Spring Tour is panning out?

“We want that Grand Slam. I had one crack at it and couldn't do it,” Burgess said.

“Cheik’s been a bit cautious this week with his selections but the French will be tough and physical.

“But it’s a great opportunity for a lot of young guys and guys that have really earnt their stripes. Guys like Luke Morahan and Kyle Godwin. It’s a really exciting.”