The Bull Sharks are heading into the Men’s Rugby 7s season with a target on their backs as they defend their 2021 state championship win.
Their campaign kicks off on Saturday, October 8 with the Fiji Day 7s at Sunnybank rugby club.
With a number of players returning to the squad, some new faces, and head coach Damon Virtue back at the helm, the team is looking to emulate last year’s style and success in 2022.
What they’re saying:
“We set a pretty high marker last season, building some quality standards around the program and creating an environment where the boys love coming to training and having a crack and competing,” Virtue said.
“Playing 7s is a really good development pathway so the club wants to up-skill players and aim to perform at a high level at all the tournaments we enter.”
Having built a large squad with plenty of depth, Virtue’s main issue will be managing the selection headache of ensuring less experienced players have an opportunity to step up.
“We have had a good retention of players from last year but the number of tournaments will provide an opportunity for other players to showcase their talent,” he said.
The men’s squad is already training hard as the tournament approaches, even after a tough season in the 15s competition.
Experienced campaigners Byron Hutchinson, Jake Upfield and 2021 player of the year Sam Dalton will return and play a crucial role within the side.
Hayden Sargeant, who returned to Bond University this season to play 15s, will be a key playmaker for Bond in the 7s. Sargeant was instrumental to Bond’s 7s program in 2018 and 2019.
Dion Samuela and Jayden Ngamanu will also be in the mix this summer, with the fleet-footed outside backs ready to make their mark.
“We are fortunate to have some really experienced players in the squad who have a great understanding of the game and set those high standards,” Virtue said.
“Zane Misios who played in the Colts 1 team has some really good attributes so I’m keen to see what he can produce in the 7s space but we have plenty of boys with footwork and the ability to beat defenders.”
Fiji 7s, Sunnybank – October 8
Byron Bay 7s – October 15-16
ECP Gold Coast 7s, Bond University – October 22-23
Briz Vegas 7s, Wests Rugby Club – November 5-6
QLD State Championships, Noosa November 12-13