Aussie side calls up Cox

FORMER Lismore City inside centre Sean Cox was pleasantly surprised at the standard of competition when he made his debut for the Australian Thunderbolts in the Paradise Sevens rugby union tournament on the Gold Coast at the weekend.

Injuries helped pave the way for Cox who was selected from the Queensland Reds national academy squad.

The 19-year-old started in four of the five games as the Thunderbolts eventually went down 20-15 in an extra-time thriller against Fijian side Matai Red Rock in the semi-finals.

"You think it would be easier but sevens is actually pretty tough," Cox said.

"I'd never played before and it was a lot of fun.

"It would have been better if we won, but it was a good experience."

Cox and his twin brother Sam moved to the Gold Coast in 2009 and attended The Southport School.

They both played for the Gold Coast Breakers colts side in the Queensland Rugby Union competition in 2011.

Sam also played for the Breakers in the second-tier East Coast Challenge competition at the weekend.

Sean was originally set to play with the Breakers top side in the Paradise Sevens until he received the late call-up.

The Thunderbolts went on to beat the Breakers 25-5 in a pool game.

"It was a bit strange playing against them, but they (Breakers) were fine with it," Cox said.

"Everyone knows it's a big opportunity and the club supported me."

Cox capped off a big season after he was named QRU colt of the year and captained Queensland Country in a one-off game against City.

He now has his sights set on playing premier grade rugby with Easts in Brisbane next season.

"There is a lot of hard work ahead," Cox said.

"Its great to see some of it is starting to pay off."

Former Kyogle Turkeys flyer Shannon Walker will look to return from injury at the IRB Sevens World Series event on the Gold Coast this weekend.

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