Hong Kong Sevens

Aussie legend Burke talks a good game these days

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 March, 2008, 12:00am

Matt Burke might be a Wallaby legend with 85 caps and a record number of points over three Rugby World Cups, but he says you can 'die on stage' if you don't prepare for a tour on the corporate speaking circuit. Looking relaxed in the Standard Chartered box, he was referring to his other role these days as a rugby after-dinner speaker. However, the gig for Standard Chartered was a lot less pressure and only entailed mingling with the guests and enjoying watching the rugby. 'I first played Sevens here in 1993,' he recalled. 'Sevens has changed a lot since then. The biggest difference is the physicality of the game. You never got tackled then and you never tried to tackle much. Sevens players look for contact now. It's like 15s in sevens format. It's almost like a breakaway game. The Hong Kong Sevens has a great skill level, and great entertainment level. You can feel the buzz on the streets of Hong Kong in the week leading up to it. It just builds and builds and gets better and better. Whether you're a player, speaker or spectator, you've got to go into Sevens training. Preparing for a tournament or a corporate tour is not entirely different. Either way it's absolutely impossible not to have a great time here and preparation is the key,' said Burke (pictured), who last had his eye on the ball here in 2005 for the World Cup Sevens.