‘Blood, sweat and tears’: Three-month search finds the best 133 Indigenous rugby players

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In a search that's taken months of travelling across remote and rural Australia, 133 of the country's best Indigenous players have been found to have a shot at the 2024 Olympics.

Former Australian sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges, who heads the project, said while the last three months have been full of “blood, sweat and tears”, Dream Big Time is the best thing hes done.

A three-month search across Australia's remote and rural communities has found the best Indigenous rugby players.

A three-month search across Australia's remote and rural communities has found the best Indigenous rugby players. Credit:Marty Cambridge

“If you lift enough rocks, youll find gold,” he said. “Its about providing choice for our people who haven't always had a choice. ”

“What weve tried to do from the onset is increasing access and opportunity. Why should someone from Mutitjulu not have as much access and choice around sports as you do in Melbourne and Sydney?”

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Earlier this year, RA announced it would conduct talent identification tours, weaving from Alice Springs to Bathurst, searching for the next Shannon Walker, Mark Ella or Taleena Simon. With the support of several former and current rugby players, including Andrew Walker, the tours saw thousands of players, aged 14-25, put their best foot forward in the hopes of taking to the world stage.

Former Australian sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges helped organise the road show.

Former Australian sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges helped organise the road show.Credit:Marty Cambridge

The chosen 46 women and 87 men will take part in a three-day camp in Sydney this month where theyll put their skills to the test in front of coaches and Australian sevens players. The camp will also offer lessons around the importance of leadership, recovery and nutrition.

Program participant Breanna Green said while shes thrilled – and a bit nervous – to have been selected, it still feels like a dream.

“Its a good opportunity,” she said. “It means a lot and its doing my family proud.”

The 17-year-old, who has played rugby for several years, said while she doesnt see many Indigenous people in the sport, she hopes to change that.

While Hodges' dream is to have multiple Read More – Source

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