Star power! Byron rugby sevens is stacked
DUAL international Andrew Walker has been added to the All Stars team playing in the 30th annual Byron Bay Sevens rugby carnival next weekend.
The team has been selected by Wallabies legend George Smith, who got the ball rolling when he and Lote Tuqiri were announced as guest speakers for a charity lunch.
Former New Zealand All Blacks players Rico Gear and Caleb Ralph will be at the Byron Bay Bowling Club for the lunch next Friday.
Walker will be joined by former Wallabies Mark Chisolm, Mark Gerrard, Steve Kefu, Radike Samo and Lachie Turner in the All Stars team for the two-day carnival.
Former NRL players Todd Carney and Jamie Lyon, who now live locally, will also be in the team.
"George (Smith) has done a great job rounding all these guys up,” event organiser Eddy Brown said.
"It's really exciting for our carnival and it's created a massive buzz around town and on social media. It's an impressive line-up and they're going to be playing against some good teams.
"A few of them have been in Japan at the World Cup so they'll have to hit the ground running.”
The Byron Bay Sevens is at capacity with 56 teams playing in competitive, social and women's divisions this year.
It all starts on Thursday and Friday with the schools sevens competitions at the Byron Recreation Ground.
Smith and Tuqiri will be joined by Gear and Ralph as guest speakers at the charity lunch while American international James Hilterbrand will compere the event and run a Q and A.
"They were keen to do the lunch and I said as a bit of a joke that they should enter a team,” Brown said.
"George (Smith) works with Jamie Lyon at Paladin Sports; they came on as a sponsor so that helped get him and Todd Carney.
"Neither have played much rugby so it should be interesting. They've also added Wollongbar player Alex Gibbon to the team.
"He has Australian sevens experience and they were looking to get a local involved so it's worked out well.”
Tickets for the lunch on Friday can still be purchased at www.byronbay7s. com.au/ lunch-2019/
ALL STARS TEAM FOR BYRON SEVENS
George Smith, Lote Tuqiri, Todd Carney, Jamie Lyon, Andrew Walker, Lachie Turner, Radike Samon, Mark Chisolm, Mark Gerrard, Rico Gear, Caleb Ralph, Steve Kefu, Kevin Fuavao, Elia Tuqiri, Alex Gibbon