Aussies take youthful approach to Sevens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies take youthful approach to Sevens

By Daniel Brettig 18/03/2010 07:35:37 PM Comments (0)

A belated emphasis on youth has got Australian rugby expecting much from its sevens youngsters at the Adelaide Oval this week.

Boasting an average age of around 20, the Australian Sevens squad for 2010 has been the subject of heavy investment by the ARU, and has offered improved results so far, most recently a semi-final spot in Las Vegas.

At 21, centre Brackin Karauria-Henry is actually one of the older faces in the squad, but he endorsed the new direction the team was taking under the watchful eye of Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

"This year I think the ARU have put a lot of effort unto us boys just to perform well," Karauria-Henry told AAP.

"They've put a lot of money into us, a lot of training camps, over the last few years they didn't have as many training camps as we had this year, they've prepared us a lot better I think.

"They've put more focus into sevens, especially with Robbie Deans taking that approach to Sevens as a good pathway to Super 14 and the Wallabies.

"I think maybe the last few years they didn't really take that approach and that's probably why they haven't succeeded as well as we have so far this year.

"The approach they've taken is really good, the average age is 19 or 20. Young players are always keen to impress and always jumping out of their skin.

"A lot of the boys here in the team are just playing sevens, but they realise if they play well in sevens they can get a Super 14 contract from there and they've got something to play for."

Karauria-Henry's background is strikingly diverse, having been born and raised in New Zealand before moving, aged 17, to NSW for a stint with the NRL club Cronulla.

Dissatisfied with his efforts to break into the first team, he elected to return to union and has subsequently emerged as one of the nation's better sevens exponents.

He is also something of a mentor to younger members of the sevens team, an odd position for one so young.

"When I first came into the team I was a bit wary of being one of the older ones but they look to me now - I've played a few tournaments," he said.

"There's a lot of young players in the team and I see them in the same boat that I was in rugby league and the things I did back then that didn't work for me I don't want them to do the same here."

Naming New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji as the usual suspects for the trophies on offer in Adelaide this week, Karauria-Henry admitted he had only recently stopped following the fortunes of the All Blacks.

Australia's campaign begins with a fixture against the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue on Friday night.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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