Carving his own path: Angus Bell looking to build off dream debut with Olympics gold

Wed, 02/06/2021, 05:43 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
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Angus Bell is looking to forge his own legacy as he hunts for Olympic gold, calling on the expertise of former Wallabies defensive coach and Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Grey.

Bell and the Sevens squad made their return to international competition in May as they travelled to New Zealand, breaking a near 500-day drought.

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Whilst the side went winless, Bell believes the hit-out provided some much-needed learning points ahead of the Olympics, with action set to start from July 27.

“It was awesome. The opportunity to go back overseas and travel as a big group was beneficial for us as a team,” Bell told Rugby.com.au.

“Even though we weren’t lucky enough to win any of those games, we’ve taken plenty of positives and reinforced some areas of our game which we’ll definitely take forward and benefit us.

“It was a good opportunity to work on a bit of cohesion within the group. There’s a lot of players including myself that haven’t had a lot of experience at that sort of level so to have that opportunity to play at that level against one of those top four teams was great.”

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The 20-year-old has risen through the ranks at both the Sevens and 15-a-side game, coming through the Australian U18 system as well as playing at the World Youth Sevens.

Bell would go on to make his debut for Australia at the LA Sevens in 2020, one of the last events before the Series was shut down as a result of the pandemic.

“Taking the field as an Aussie Sevens player and putting that jersey on definitely stands out. It was always a dream to me when I was growing up,” he said.

“The experience and exposure from playing against some of the best in the world has been very beneficial and gives me a stepping stone to where I would like to see myself in the future.

“The speed and physicality was immensely different. At that top-level, they are fully grown athletes who know how to pass, run, hit hard and do it at an exceptional pace that I wasn’t used to.

“That’s experience and exposure was crucial for me and I believe it’s definitely helped me as a player.”

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Throughout his journey, he's been joined by his namesake and Waratahs prop Angus Bell, with the pair playing together since the start of high school.

“I’ve known Belly since was in year seven so we’ve played rep footy all through school together,” he added.

“Unless no one’s ever met us before, they can get confused but you look at him compared to me, he’s just a behemoth of a man so it’s pretty easy to distinguish.”

Whilst the prop has established himself as a regular starter for the Waratahs and Wallabies, Bell is looking to make his own name as he attempts to lock down a starting spot ahead of next month's tri-series with Fiji and New Zealand.

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To do so, Bell has called on the expertise of Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Grey, who served as the defensive coach for the Wallabies during the 2019 World Cup.

This has allowed him to see the game in a different light, with Grey teaching him the defensive secrets that can take his game to the next level.

“You learn all the different points of views to look at a defence that you’d probably never thought about before,” he said on Grey’s experience.

“It’s come in and showed different techniques and points of view that are ultimately going to help you as a player and especially developing my defence which is so important in the game of Sevens.”

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