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Many would say the game of Rugby Sevens is a fitting introduction for kids wanting to make a start in Rugby, a statement that Australian Rugby Sevens star Shannon Walker would agree with. However for the 24-year-old Winger his introduction to Sevens has been a very different story.
Walker’s Sevens career began just last year after an early exit from the Gold Coast Titans League team due to injury.
No stranger to injury, Walker’s start on the international Rugby Sevens stage was delayed due to issues with his hamstring and shoulder meaning the talented youngster wasn’t able to make his debut until Round 6 of the HSBC Sevens series in Hong Kong last season.
Despite the setback, Walker told rugby.com.au he thoroughly enjoyed playing in the final rounds of the last Series, which included tournaments in Scotland, England and of course their drought breaking Tournament win in Tokyo, Japan.
“To win the Tokyo Round, that was the biggest thing for me,” Walker says.
“To win in your second ever tournament of Sevens is pretty special.
“Also just to be part of the team as well, all the boys are pretty talented so to make the squad is pretty special too.
“I got on the path to Sevens and liked the game more and more, it was really my style of play so I jumped on board with the Sevens crew.
“It’s been a pretty good ride so far. Just trying to keep the body injury free has been the hardest thing for me.
“Sevens keeps you fit and healthy, it’s an exciting game because of the speed and agility. Plus you get to travel a fair bit so if you’re keen for all that then it’s your game. It’s worked out well for me.”
A League convert, Walker felt the game of Rugby Sevens would provide him more opportunities, especially considering the games inclusion in the next Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
The lure of an Olympic Games berth is something the young flyer is focussed on achieving, and he knows how much it would mean to other young indigenous players for him to succeed at the international level.
“It’s a massive step for Sevens, especially for all the Indigenous players, all the kids growing up with me in school, they see me taking my chances and raising the bar and hopefully they realise that it can be on the cards for them to do it too.”
Walker is now focused on the upcoming 2012/13 HSBC World Sevens Series and this time is looking forward to being part of it from the opening round at Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch held at Skilled Park on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October.
“It will be my first one on the Gold Coast as I missed the last one due to my hammy.
“It’ll be great to have all the boys there. This year the team is going to try to take on the tournament from the very start.
“I’ve heard this year is going to be pretty big so I’m looking forward to it.
Check out the draw and secure your tickets to get behind the Qantas Men’s Sevens at this year’s Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch.
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