Referee, Rugby union Why Rugby Sevens leading try scorer had to switch to Rugby Union | GPTonight
Where are you there? You are thanks so much for joining us just uh to let people know um, just how utterly brilliant you are. You are the leading tri scorer in world sevens rugby and we’re delighted to have you with us. The reason we’re having you with us is because you’ve signed up with london irish tell us how this has happened. Yeah so um i’ve been lucky enough to get a contract of london. Irish for the short term, um been playing sevens for 10 years uh and off the back of that now there’s some funding issues with the rfu um but i’ve been i’ve, been able to join london irish on a short some contract to try and play some 15s Again, i guess in an ideal world, this wouldn’t have happened because you’d be playing sevens but uh. Clearly the seven series impacted by the coronavirus, but also there have been cuts now to uh to the sevens program with the rfu. So, whilst we’re excited to see you, you probably wish this wasn’t happening, i guess yeah um, surely yeah because should have probably been coming back from the olympics now i’ve selected, um, probably with a hangover, um and hopefully a medal, but obviously unfortunately, that’s kind of been Taken out of our control and was pushed back to next year, but um yeah, the landscape has changed massively um for us as england, servants players um, but at the same time i’ve got an amazing opportunity now with london.
Irish in the short term. Just to see you know how how i can go, how was the news broken to you that uh there was, it was going to impact seven so severely, and then how are things put in place for you to rejoin 15s for a brief period yeah? So i think, in light of the pandemic um everything these days has done over zoom calls um. So we had a team meeting we’ve been kind of been kept up to date, um from the rf’s point of view and how they were trying to raise some funding from uk sport, which didn’t happen um and then the program has now ceased to to happen. Post august um so yeah pretty gutting to hear that pre getting from the past three or four months from having positive, chats to then be told that there’s no contract, no no program moving forwards. Again, especially being this season um running into the olympics and having that as a as the carrot end of the year and that real massive push the olympics then have it cut from us, and taking from us has been pretty going to take to be fair. Was there a certain amount of anger amongst the players you and your colleagues um, i think it’s kind of been a long time coming in the sense that we’ve been having these chats the past. You know two or three months um. I think, at the end of the day, it’s pretty gutting and frustrating that we are on this position.
I get the fact of um rugby as a whole around the world. Being, you know, impacted differently by that all the different unions are finding that they’re. In the same position, um but yeah, definitely from off the back of um. You know getting a medal in rio, 2016 to them, pushing this year to try and get another medal um and then having that take him away from us. You know a year out from next year’s olympics now. Um was quite a tough pill to swallow um, but again that hasn’t changed apart from mostly being full time in sevens. The goal for a lot of us, a goal for all of us, is still to have the opportunity next year in tokyo. Just the again, the landscape has completely changed how we would get there, of course, that that medal in in rio is a gb team. One of the solutions put forward is that there’s a permanent gb team. I know that you’re a fan of that others, aren’t um. Why do you think it would be such a good idea to have a permanent gb7 site um? I think if you look at the other nations, so in new zealand or south africa, they they will have a squad for two three years: four years buildington olympics, you know a quite a subtle squad, whereas we would have an england team, wells, team team, scottish team And we’re vying against each other on the series which is competitive, but at the same time, when you need to bring everything together to get the best 13 players to then combine a winning team from an olympic gold.
You know only having 13 14 weeks, or you know, eight weeks as it was this time to try and you know, create something special and the rapport you need, as a group is hard. So having that focus and having that um team gb feel you know running into every uh major games, it’s gon na be a benefit to everybody on the whole um let’s focus on the positive you’re with london irish now through to the end of the regular season. Uh london irish, have got big plans they’re playing at the stoop at the moment, obviously because their new home at brentford isn’t yet ready but come the start of next season. That’S, where they hope to be playing their rugby looks, looks amazing, place a new home for them in west. London they’ll feel that that’s, where they need to be. What role do you play in and are you looking forward to playing on a congested field with big fat players rumbling around getting in your way, yeah look, i think, coming off the back of not being able to get the the olympics this year, the next. The next opportunity and being able to get into the 15s – and you know premiership club was was a goal. I was always looking at so having an opportunity now with a great club like london, irish i’m, excited by the opportunity, i think um sevens has really helped. My game, the you know, having the opportunity to play in front of 30 40 000 people, the pressure, the playing against some of the world’s greatest.
You know rugby players, you know that only holds you in a good place, and i feel my game has massively improved over the last couple of years and yeah i’m just excited about getting back out there and just showcasing my skill. It’S, probably not gon na be perfect and i’m learning every day, but i’m competitive, and i you know i’ve got that drive to get better each day and to learn enough. You know a great squad of iris to help. You know help me improve and get to where i want to get to um we’re, just going to sing your praises now here, uh austin. This is a player who excels at the sevens game, and so many nations, south africa, australia, particularly all blacks view the sevens game as a pathway into the national team, the 15 side. What might union learn from the brief appearance of dan norton in 15s? That is rapid, it’s difficult to tackle uh and he’s got he likes scoring tries. I mean interesting down i’m interested to see where you fancy playing uh on the wing or maybe at fullback. Maybe fullback might suit you a little bit more, not chasing box kicks as much and fielding box kicks, but receiving the ball in open field with a lot more space in front of you what’s, your thought. Are you keen on playing at 15 yeah um the way? Obviously, london, irish player they’ve got a quite a fluid game plan, so it’s not about just sitting up on the step setting up on the wing it’s about trying to find work, and you know working off the wing as as they always say, but the game plan For iris really accommodates kind of my style and getting space in the middle of the pitch and around and wherever there are shoulders so i’m i’m looking forward to getting you know more touches and hopefully get some more involvement.
Well, dan we’re really looking forward to seeing you on the field.