Hartlepool have named their squad for its first crack at the Bangkok International Rugby Sevens.
The united town side, built from the clubs in Hartlepool & District RFU, will contest the international event on November 12-13.
I don’t think we could have got a better squadJOHN BICKERSTAFF
Manager John Bickerstaff unveiled an 11-man squad which will be skippered by former England Sevens star Aaron Myers.
The West Hartlepool forward will be joined by team-mates, younger brother Eldon, and Liam Bailey.
Rovers also provide three players, Liam Austwicke, Andrew Dring and Adam Smith, with Jack McCallum representing Horden.
BBOB’s Peter Howe and Anthony Egglestone, Anthony Lawrence, from Hartlepool, and Seaton Carew’s Cameron Lithgo make up the squad.
“The clubs have nominated some very good players,” said Bickerstaff. “I don’t think we could have got a better squad.
“All the lads I know are very good rugby players and athletes and those I don’t know that well I’ve had great reports about.
“It’s going to be hard on two fronts, the sides we are up against look very strong and the humidity in Bangkok is a big factor.
“Given the calibre of players the clubs have supplied us I think the team can perform well and regarding the conditions, we’re getting heat management advice.”
Aaron Myers, a former England youth international, has played at national league level at the 15-a-side game but his expertise in sevens is on a different plane. The flanker was a key player for Newcastle Falcons and has played all over the world for his country.
“Aaron is an excellent player,” said Bickerstaff. “Everyone knows how good he is.
“He has tremendous experience and played for his country countless times in sevens. The great thing about Aaron is that he’s a leader.
“He’ll coach and coax the lads while he’s on the pitch and the same off it.
“His sevens ability is unquestionable and he’ll raise the level of all our players.”
Hartlepool’s entry into the Bangkok International Rugby Sevens is the inspiration of Rovers treasurer and town businessman, Alby Pattison.
His company, Hart Innovations, are sponsoring the championship in Thailand, and with Bickerstaff’s energy and expertise and the assistance of Hartlepool & District RFU, have assembled a squad to take part in the international section of the event.
Three teams are involved from the host country with Sunnybank and Pindarri as Australia’s two representatives, with NZ Legends flying the New Zealand flag plus Olympic, from Kazakhstan.