The Queensland Academy of Sevens (QAS) has named a strong 14-man squad to contest the Santos Festival of Rugby in Narrabri this weekend.
Alongside Queensland, the festival features the New South Wales and Australian Pasifika teams, while the Australian squad will also partake in what looms as a key trial tournament for the Australian side in the build-up to this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Matches will be played across both Friday and Saturday, with the St.George Queensland Reds going head-to-head with the NSW Waratahs in a pre-season trial on Friday evening, kick-off at 8:00pm AEDT.
The Queensland side features a number of Queensland Premier Rugby standouts, while also providing an opportunity for some rising stars of the Sevens format to test their wares against the best players in the country.
Queensland Sevens stalwarts Ryan Menzies, Nick Chapman, Connor Clancy and Hayden Sargeant have been selected, with youngsters Louis Werchon and Lachlan Sperling also earning a maroon jersey.
The side will be coached by former Queensland Reds and Australian Sevens representative Tim Atkinson, who will be assisted by University of Queensland AON University Sevens coach Cassidy Holland.
Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) Head of High Performance – Sevens Reg Tayler said: “This weekend provides our Queensland players a great chance to play infront of the Australian Men’s Sevens coaches, and put themselves forward for selection ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
“The Sevens format of the game has suffered over the past 12 months due to the pandemic and there have been limited opportunities for our players.
“It’s great that with help of Santos, and the Queensland and New South Wales Rugby Unions, we’re seeing players come together in region NSW with the chance to push for higher honours.”
Queensland will take on Australia at 2:00pm AEDT in their first match of the festival on Friday.