Rugby sevens has come to Bundaberg with The Waves Falcons Rugby Union Club having launched a new sevens competition this week.
Falcons Rugby Club vice-president Jeff Messitt said training for the new competition started on Wednesday, 14 October and he hoped it would attract more people to the game.
He said the idea for a sevens competition was prompted by a reduction in numbers for the 15s.
“With 15s losing three teams in Bundaberg over the past couple of years, we will be introducing sevens rugby to our club to grow participation,” Jeff said.
“We’re really welcoming all ages and abilities, so you can bring a mate or bring a team.
“It’s only seven players needed for a team, so it makes it a lot easier.”
Also welcome are those who would like to learn coaching and be mentored by an international coach.
That international coach is Michael Hooke, who moved to Woodgate during the COVID pandemic.
Jeff said that along with the decline of rugby 15s it made sense to take advantage of having Michael in the region.
“Joining the Waves Falcons this year are former international sevens player and coach Michael Hooke and Men’s Health magazine personal trainer of the year Ethan Hyde,” he said.
“We’ve been looking at other ways to keep the juniors interested and we looked at the sevens competition because of Michael being here it made sense and we can take advantage of his expertise and knowledge.
“It’d be silly to waste his experience and knowledge and everything else seemingly fell into line.”
The game of sevens has been growing in popularity across Australia and in 2018 had grown by 14 per cent across the country, with more than 65,000 participants taking to the field.
Jeff said the recent growth of sevens in Australia proved the shortened format is popular.
“We’re trying to encourage people to come and try the sport, as a lot of people are turned off with the over-policed scrums and the technical aspect of scrums in rugby,” he said.
“But sevens is a great way to introduce people to rugby as it’s very free flowing.
“We are always looking for new players, boys and girls, to come and try our beautiful sport.”
Training for sevens is held every Wednesday from 6.30 to 7.30pm. Competition will depend on numbers.
If you're interested, contact Jeff Messitt on the Waves Falcons Rugby Union Facebook Page here.