By Ben Meyers
The St Louis Bombers 7s Rugby program is in full swing as the team travels to the Denver Regional Qualifying Tournament this weekend, under the guidance of new 7s coach Cam Wyper. The Bombers are excited to have Cam on board for this season as he brings a great deal of experience to the club, particularly in 7s. Cam, who is currently an assistant coach at Lindenwood University, has previously represented Scotland’s national 7s team and has also been part of development programs with both NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies in Australia where Cam is from.
This season marks the first time in several years that the Bombers have taken a serious approach to the 7s season, with plans to compete at all 3 regional qualifying tournaments. It is part of a longer term plan for the club, which, among several other initiatives, is currently putting player development programs in place at both the men’s and high school levels so that the club can develop to a Division 1 standard. The new 7s program is expected to build a good platform to lead into the clubs development programs for the 15s season.
While Cam has selected a squad that will be trained to compete at higher level 7s tournaments, the club caters to all experience and interest levels, having a 2nd side that also trains and plays in the local MRFU summer 7s series and enters into competitive and social tournaments around the Midwest.
Cam’s initial intentions for the squad is to gain a good understanding of the concept of 7s, and the different style of play and mentality that is required as opposed to the 15s game. The focus for this season will be building upon that, with a long term goal over the coming seasons of developing into a high level 7s team that can get to the national championships round. While it is still very early days for the program, Cam has commented on the very good base level of skill within the squad and the high level of enthusiasm from all involved which has been a very good platform to build upon.
Going forward, the key factors to be improved upon for the squad is a much more structured attacking play, with implementing a much more structural game plan rather than the typical “play-as-you-go”, as well as improved 7s style defensive coordination and communication. Of course the first year of this program is not without it’s challenges. While the current squad is capable, keeping the players fit and injury free will be important as depth in players that can compete at the qualifying level is still growing, and players are still learning the different structure and work ethic of 7s rugby. The club is fortunate to have some of Lindenwood University’s players on board to help boost the squad and maintain depth. Travel costs and consistent player availability is also a typical challenge for most teams around St Louis and the Midwest.
The squad has had one last hit-out last night in the MRFU summer series at Forest Park before heading out to Denver. Good luck to the players and the club looks forward to this program developing over the coming seasons.