O'Connor scouts for talent at Kiama Sevens

RUGBY SEVENS

Australian Sevens coach Michael O'Connor will be a keen observer at today's Kiama rugby Sevens.

The annual tournament at Kiama Showground is in its 41st year and still reigns as the nation's biggest one-day Sevens event.

Word has it that O'Connor wants to monitor the progress of certain players and also hopes to find a diamond in the rough.

"He came down last year to have a look and by all reports he'll be there watching closely again on Saturday," Kiama Sevens co-ordinator Mark Bryant said.

"He could pop up anywhere at any time so that should keep the players on their toes and bring out the best in everyone."

Returning to defend the title they won last year are the Brisbane Fijians, while Parramatta are seeking back-to-back crowns in the women's competition.

Forty-eight teams will contest the men's competition.

Five Illawarra teams will strut their stuff - Kiama, Shoalhaven, Bowral, Engadine and the returning Wollongong University.

"From humble beginnings in 1973, the Kiama Sevens Cup has become one of the most sought after trophies in NSW rugby," Kiama Rugby Club president Richard Payne said.

"I may be biased but I'm yet to find an event of any description that matches the Kiama Sevens for non-stop action played in such picturesque surrounds."

Trophies for each competition will arrive at 4pm, flown in by a navy chopper from Nowra.

Games kick off at 8.30am.

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