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Hamilton spurns NRL to focus on sevens
Rashida Yosufzai
16:19 AEST Fri Jan 18 2013

Guy Hamilton is so hopeful he will make it to the Olympics, the junior rugby sevens player has given up a contract with NRL club Gold Coast to focus on the Rio Games.

Hamilton, 17, is one of 12 members of the junior national rugby sevens squad debuting the game in an Olympic setting, at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).

On Friday and in stifling 40 degree heat, Hamilton and his team beat Tonga 21-12, before pummelling China 75-0 in the first two of four preliminaries at St Ignatius College in Sydney.

The 17-year-old Queenslander had been offered an agreement with the Titans, but told AAP he'd pulled out to focus on the chance to play sevens at the 2016 Rio Games "alongside some of the greats."

"I wanted to come here and focus on rugby with nothing tying down my shoulders," he said.

"I gave myself the best chance to get to Rio .... (it would be) huge for me to get a gold medal."

Selectors and officials already have highlighted potentials for the nation's emerging sevens squad.

Ed Jenkins, the senior men's sevens captain, said the teens would be at the prime age to play at an international level.

"I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them are on the national squad in a few years' time," he said.

Rebecca Tavo, Australia's women's sevens captain, has already picked a number of girls for the senior squad.

"I have no doubt Evania Pelite will be in our nationals squad when she turns 18," she said.

"I would love to see her come on board.

"Another girl, Eva Karpani, is going to surprise the world. If we keep developing her up and bring her along hopefully in the next few years, she's going to feel the full force of the sevens world."

The junior women's team also proved their mettle on the field, easily beating China 38-5, before taking out South Africa 52-7.


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