Junior Hammer Daniel Leis will be looking to learn from the best in the business this weekend.
Junior Hammer Daniel Leis will be looking to learn from the best in the business this weekend. Rebecca Singh

Hammers time to shine

HAMMERS junior Daniel Leis will be looking to learn from the best in the business as three Queensland Reds players head to Gympie this weekend.

The Hammers will hold their first training camp since partnering with the University of Queensland on Saturday.

"I love union and I have been really keen for years to play with the Hammers and this year I will get my chance,” Leis said.

Inspired by his uncle's love of union, Leis said he would be looking forward to getting tips about his game from professionals.

"My uncle was the one who asked my mum if my siblings and I could play,” he said.

"The best position is playing in the forwards because you get more of the ball and get to tackle. This weekend I want to learn the skills of plans and routines of getting plays started, which will make me a better forward.

"My dream is to one day play for the New Zealand All Blacks. I have a long way to go, a lot to learn and I will have to put the extra work in before I make my dream a reality.

"This weekend will give me a chance to learn more about my game and get a few more steps closer to my dream.”

Hammers will also host their season launch which will include free coaching clinics and sign-ons from 8.30am.

Vice-president Paul Blackburn said the focus of this weekend was on juniors.

"They are the future of the club and it gives people the chance to know that the season will kick off soon,” he said.

"We have to keep kids coming through to replace the senior players.”

Blackburn said having three Queensland Reds players would be a great draw card.

"Tate McDermott, Harry Hockings and Angus Scott-Young will be here for the day to help with the coaching clinics,” he said.

"These three came through the ranks of Queensland Country and they will be able to provide our kids with some great knowledge.

"It's a way for the kids to rub shoulders with some of the best in the industry. There will be four senior coaching staff from UQ and Sunshine Coast Rugby Union will be sending a development officer; who will provide insurance for the day.”

Future Hammers will see some of the seniors in action as the reserve grade trial game against UQ will kick off at 3pm.

"UQ are bringing a squad of 30 players and it will be a good way to trial players in different positions and for reserves coach Jason McPherson to see what works,” he said.

"It will be a pre-season game so it will be slightly relaxed. The juniors will also have short games of 10's and 7s as part of the coaching clinics between 12.30 and 3pm.”

McPherson said this would be a great chance for young kids to get some exposure.

"The high level coaches will do different drills and they will see which kids have potential,” he said.

"If any of our players move to Brisbane, they can still play union because they will know these players from UQ.

"This partnership will open pathways for our players, which will be great for our club.”

The day will start at 8.30am this Saturday, February 17 at Jack Stokes Oval, Gympie.

For more information ring Blackburn on 0418 804 455 or email gympiehammers@gmail.com or visit the Facebook page Gympie Hammers Rugby Union Club. Bookings are not required but you can be ringing Blackburn.

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