Classic Wallabies to share centre stage on HSBC Sydney 7s Weekend

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It has been several years since many of them have played in front of a full stadium, but that’s exactly what lies in wait of two teams of past greats as they prepare to face off in a Classic ‘State of Origin’ showdown at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Two classic teams featuring past heroes of Queensland and New South Wales Rugby will square off during the final day of action at the sold-out HSBC Sydney 7s on the same turf in which many of them made their name as Wallabies stars.

The idea for the special clash was hatched by Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh, and with the help of recently retired Waratahs and Qantas Wallabies forward Stephen Hoiles, an age-old rivalry will be fired up yet again while the World Series action breaks at 1pm on Sunday.

Queensland has assembled a strong and classy outfit spearheaded by former Wallabies skipper Nathan Sharpe, as well as Reds fan-favourite Radike Samo and former Fijian wizard Moses Raulini. In another more controversial inclusion, former Waratahs winger and now Gold Coast-based Lote Tuqiri has been enlisted by the Queenslanders as a surprise weapon to take on his former Waratahs teammates.

New South Wales will enter the showdown with more than a tinge of green with former Randwick teammates Hoiles, Adam Freier, Morgan Turinui and Patrick Phibbs all in the lineup. The Galloping Greens foursome will be joined by cross-code centre Ryan Cross and prolific Wallabies winger Scott Staniforth to don the sky blue jersey one final time.

The match will be played in the sevens format to tie in with the action on display throughout the HSBC Sydney 7s.

A tongue-in-cheek Hoiles, the self-appointed captain-coach of New South Wales, said: “Basically this is the main game of the day.

“I know people have paid good money to see the best Sevens players in the world but who doesn’t want to see blokes like Adam Freier, Morgan Turinui and Nathan Sharpe in full flight one more time? It will be a beautiful thing.

“All players were excited to play in this game when asked, especially after they were told it will only go for ten minutes (2 x 5 min halves). The other positive is I don’t think there will be any judicial repercussion so it’s open slather!”

Tim Walsh, who will be on hand at the HSBC Sydney 7s as his world number one Aussie Women’s team take on Ireland in a three-match series over the weekend, said the Classics match would be played in great spirit and will help to raise the profile of Rugby Sevens.

“A number of these guys started their careers as Sevens players, which many people probably don’t realise because they weren’t seen or heard of until they made their professional debut in fifteens Rugby.

“It proves how strong the Sevens game is and how good it’s been for the careers of these players, its value as an elite pathway and also as a great game and great spectacle in its own right.

“The boys will have a lot of fun out there on Sunday and I’m sure the crowd will get in to it. The Classics game will add to the entertainment on what will be a fantastic weekend both inside the stadium and around the precinct.”

The match will be aired LIVE by FOX SPORTS during its weekend-long LIVE coverage of the HSBC Sydney 7s, the fourth event of the 2015/16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

New South Wales v Queensland Classics Match – HSBC Sydney 7s weekend
Sunday 7 February, Allianz Stadium
Kick off: 1.03pm AEDT

New South Wales: Adam Freier, Pete Miller, Robbie Miller, Brendan Williams, Morgan Turinui, Stephen Hoiles, Ryan Cross, Pat Phibbs, Scott Staniforth
Queensland: Elton Flatley, Nathan Sharpe, Luke Doherty, Radike Samo, Sam Cordingley, Karl Te Nana, Lote Tuqiri, Damian McInally, Tom McVerry, Nick Gregorski, Moses Raulini, Tomasi Cama

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