ON THE RUN: Alex Gibbon slips out of a tackle against American Samoa in Fiji last weekend.
ON THE RUN: Alex Gibbon slips out of a tackle against American Samoa in Fiji last weekend.

Wollongbar man makes leap in Olympic rugby campaign

WOLLONGBAR junior Alex Gibbon has his sights set on representing Australia in rugby sevens at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Gibbon, 20, will make his debut for the Australian team at IRB level in the first round of the World Series on the Gold Coast this weekend.

He captained the Australian team when they finished third in the Oceania Men's Sevens Championship in Fiji last weekend.

Gibbon has ticked plenty of boxes this season.

He represented the NSW Barbarians against Argentina in July and played for Combined Country against the British and Irish Lions in a tour game in June.

He was one of the leading try-scorers in the Shute Shield competition in Sydney, playing for Southern Districts, and was named winger of the year.

"To be honest, this is the number one thing for me," Gibbon said.

"The Olympics is a big opportunity which comes with the sevens rugby.

"I like both forms of the game but I really enjoy sevens."

Gibbon snapped up one of two spots left in the Australian team for the World Series.

He isn't guaranteed a full-time spot in the team but is confident of a strong performance on the Gold Coast.

"It's something you never expect and I'll play it by ear," Gibbon said.

"Fingers crossed I'll go well but I'm pretty confident that sevens suits my style of play."

Gibbon played for the Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers before moving to Sydney three years ago.

His young-er brother Matt Gibbon represented the Australian Schoolboys A side against New Zealand Schools in Sydney last week.

Kyogle product Shannon Walker will also play in the Australian sevens team tomorrow.

"Shannon is a fast mover and an exciting player to watch with his deft footwork," coach Michael O'Connor said.



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