It's time to dream big
RUGBY UNION: Local fleet-footed indigenous athletes with the ability to make their tackles stick and throw the ball both ways could find themselves competing at the 2024 Olympics.
Rugby Australia's high performance team will be in Coffs Harbour next Tuesday to unearth the next generation of national sevens players.
Coffs is just one of more than 20 stops on the Dream big time tour, with talent scouts looking forward to finding the next indigenous star.
"It's always exciting, I've been involved with rugby for 20 years and rugby has built a strong connection with Coffs Harbour,” Former Australian men's sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges said.
"When you go to these places you're never surprised with the talent because it's in abundance every year.”
With the likes of Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr and Cody Walker currently among the top players in the NRL, Rugby Australia are becoming proactive to ensure their code is a viable option for future indigenous talents.
"We know we can do more so we're trying to strategically grow the game and provide choice,” Hodges said.
"We want to promote a physical and active lifestyle in these communities which also helps with mental health.
"If that means people come through and are successful that's a great by-product.”
Players will be put through their paces on Tuesday, with speed and fitness a massive part of sevens rugby.
Drills will include a timed 40m sprint and 1.2km run. Tackling technique, decision-making and the ability to pass on both sides will also be examined.
"They can expect a culturally supportive and encouraging environment while their with us,” Hodges said.
The camp will be held from 4.30pm-6.30pm next Tuesday at Hargraves Park.
The top 130 players from the tour will be flown to Sydney for a four-day camp where their skills will be put to the test in front of a panel of national coaches.
To register go to www.rugbyau.com.au and follow the links to the tour.