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By HSBC Waratahs Media Unit
Barely 12 hours after finishing last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup match, HSBC Waratah and Wallabies flanker Dave Dennis was the star attraction at the Blue Mountains Juniors end of season presentations in Lapstone.
Brought up at the foot of the Blue Mountains in Kurrajong, Dennis volunteered his services to the Blueys local club and headed straight there from the airport after landing in Sydney just hours earlier.
Said the club’s President, Owen Sargeant, “His attendance was absolutely eaten up by all the juniors. There were about 250 there on the day and none of us could quite believe he had played against the All Blacks in Brisbane the night before and was at our ground the next morning!
“In this world of highly paid professionals, this young man epitomised what is good about the game and sport. He is a credit to the code, himself and his state and national teams and we hope his future remains bright for a long time to come.”
Another of Dennis’ teammates was also out west on Sunday morning, with Tom Kingston out and about at Wilson Park Stadium in Silverwater mentoring at the Women’s Sevens rugby trials. Around 180 athletes turned up to try their luck at securing a place within the ARU’s Pathway to Gold program.
Seven’s rugby is set to make its Olympic debut at Rio in 2016 and several of Sunday’s lucky participants could have just taken the first step in securing their spot on the team.
The HSBC Waratahs winger helped run drills and sprint testing and offered encouragement to the girls throughout the day.
Said Tom, “What was most impressive was just how many girls were there and the range of backgrounds there were from. They were girls from Oztag and wrestling. You could see those that played rugby before but you could also see there were clearly girls with plenty of potential.
“It’s great for rugby in general that we’re getting more people to give the game a go, that maybe wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for this sevens opportunity.”
This Saturday, from 1.30pm Cam Crawford and Jeremy Tilse will be at the Central Coast Sevens tournament which sees 16 men’s, 12 women’s and 12 school teams competing for $30,000 in prize money. As a former Sevens player, Crawford took part in the event two years ago, trialling for the national team and reaching the semi finals as part of the Central Coast squad. As well as the main competitions, the event opens tonight with a special charity XVs match for the Black Dog Institute, starring a host of former international players including Jim Williams, Caleb Ralph and Clyde Rathbone.
Photos from all events are posted on the Waratahs’ Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/waratahs.
The events were part of the HSBC Waratahs’ Tahs Together community program that will see players and coaches out and about joining supporters and rugby communities across NSW throughout the season. Through hundreds of activities and events, the HSBC Waratahs aim to engage with all supporters across the state as part of its support of grassroots rugby. Each year, Waratahs Rugby contributes well over $1,000,000 to support the development of the grassroots game through grants and payments to the New South Wales Rugby Union.
Sat Mar 19, 7:40PM AEDT
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney