Jet-shoed Western Force winger Rod Davies has been trialling with the Australian men’s sevens team in Sydney for the past fortnight and coach Tim Walsh is hopeful he’ll soon be making an impact in the world series.
Davies, whose best asset is clear via his nickname “Rocket Rod”, accepted an invitation to train with the Aussie men’s sevens team – with the Force’s blessing – after it was announced last month Global Rapid Rugby would push back its launch until 2020.
Though now aged 30, Davies is still arguably the fastest rugby player in Australian rugby and he showed that with sizzling tries in the NRC and in the World Series Rugby games in 2018.
Davies was a key member of the Queensland Super Rugby side that won the 2011 title, and he played a Test for the Wallabies in that same year against Samoa.
Amazingly, given his speed, Davies never played for the Aussie sevens team but Walsh is keen to see if it’s a case of “better late than never”.
Davies is set to play for Gordon in the Kiama Sevens this weekend.
It’s understood he is still scheduled to play for the Force in a Showcase series this year as well but details are yet to be worked out.
Western Force winger Rod Davies is RAPID! pic.twitter.com/bezGJ6M3Bz— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) October 13, 2018
“He is just quick. Rocket by name, rocket by nature,” Walsh told RUGBY.com.au
“That’s one of those assets in sevens that is such an advantage. Even looking at his GPS data, he is half-a-yard to a yard quicker than most guys running around. So of course I am going to be interested.
“We have some quick players, Porchy, Lachie Anderson, even Moz. But Rocket is above those guys as far as top-end speed.
“The good sevens guys can maintain it, and repeat it, and that’s where it will take time for Rocket to get up there. But we are really, really excited to have him keen.”
Along with his speed, Davies’ experience and strength in contact makes him a solid overall footballer, says Walsh.
“I reckon 30 is a good age. He is mature, a great professional,” he said.
“But in the last two weeks, he’s been almost a little bit nervous and it’s been really refreshing because nerves come from something that you want. He has been calm but nervous. And rapid.
“His contact skills, his edginess around this one on one battles have been great as well. He has fit in really well. He is going to play in Kiama this weekend, and hopefully we can see some good things and hopefully it is not too long before he is making an impact on the world series.”