Port Macquarie is caught in a race to unearth indigenous sporting talent for the next Olympic rugby team to take on the games at Paris 2024.
Port Macquarie is the second town on a list of talent scouting areas for the Rugby Australia High-Performance team to create two teams for the games.
The visit and tryouts for players aged 14 to 24 are scheduled to be held at Port Macquarie Pirates home ground in Wood Street from 5pm to 7pm on Monday, May 20.
The team will then head to Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Yamba and Ballina before making its way around the country - while the first visit on the list will be held in Taree at Rat Park from 11.30am to 1.30pm on May 20.
Former Australian Men's Sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges, who is leading the project said RA has partnered with the Aboriginal Medical Services for the visit.
"We're excited to get back out to regional Australia where we know there is a genuine thirst for rugby in these towns," he said.
"We witnessed more than five hundred people put on a superb performance on the first tour and we're expecting that number to double.
"We will also ensure this won't be a one-off visit as we will work with the member unions to re-visit each of these communities and keep tapping into existing talent."
Following the talent clinics the top 130 players will travel to Sydney for a four day camp and be selected into two squads of 20.
Those teams will then represent two First Nations Sevens sides who will compete in five domestic and two international tournaments.
"This is our very first talent targeted program to find indigenous and Torres Strait island people in Port Macquarie," said Hodges.
"It's an area that I believe has a significant indigenous population and strong rugby roots.
"Potential players may also come from other codes.
"Currently we are seeing athletics background people coming through like USA men's sevens player Perry Baker."
Mr Hodges said the most important qualities to find were speed, aerobic fitness, mental strength, the ability to pass accurately on both sides of the body and tackle technique.
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