Ruediger impresses in Sevens outing
Wests player Tom Ruediger is looking to break into the rugby sevens' world circuit. Photo: Melissa Adams
Wests flyer Tom Ruediger is on a mission for more rugby Sevens exposure to boost his chances of earning a spot on the lucrative international circuit.
Ruediger got his chance to impress Australian coach Michael O'Connor when he was called in to help the Thunderbolts win a tournament in Noosa last weekend.
He played so well O'Connor has organised for Ruediger to play in Byron Bay and Singapore to continue his transition into the modified rugby format.
It's a rapid rise through the ranks for Ruediger.
Just 18 months ago he started taking rugby seriously and forced his way into the Brumbies' training squad at the start of this year.
However, an ankle injury ended his hopes of winning a contract in Jake White's squad.
Despite having limited Sevens experience, Ruediger showed his talents in Noosa. When he got on the field, he scored a try in his first match. And when O'Connor used him in the final, he scored again and ran down an opposition break away to keep the Thunderbolts in the lead.
''They want me to play a few more tournaments with other teams and then see where that takes me,'' Ruediger said. ''I want to show them that I'm capable of playing Sevens.
''I didn't get a lot of time in the first couple of games. But in the last game of the first day I got a few tries and that gave me a bit more time on day two.''
The first tournament of the international season will begin on Saturday on the Gold Coast.
It's not Super Rugby, but the Australian team gets to travel around the world, playing in Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Edinburgh.
Queanbeyan's Lewis Holland has established himself as a regular in the Australian Sevens team.
He is likely to earn selection for the Gold Coast tournament when O'Connor names his squad tomorrow.
Ruediger has returned to Canberra to train before playing in Byron Bay in two weeks and hopes he can play well enough to get called in to join Holland.