Former Wallaby Luke Burgess backs Tassie's women to grow rugby sevens in the state

One-time Wallabies Test halfback Luke Burgess knows a thing or two about copping the hard hits.

Standing at 179cm and weighing 86kgs playing among beasts of the 15-man-a-side game, he felt the full force of knee injuries and fractured bones until calling his retirement last year.

So when a series of horrific injures had sent three female players new to the sport in ambulances on Saturday, he witnessed it up front.

Burgess, who has been set the task of developing the game in the state, was in charge refereeing round four of the Tasmanian Rugby Sevens Series at Royal Park.

But Burgess is confident the injuries would not curb their enthusiasm.

“There were some dodgy injuries that had happened, but a lot of the girls get that shock that they haven’t experienced in any other sport before,” he said.

“They get a little bit scared, but then all of a sudden they get over it really quickly and they’re back into it.

“A lot of girls that sustain the same injuries get over it and will be as tough as nails.

“It’s really impressive the way they have adapted to the physicality of the game.”

The women that have felt four consecutive weeks of physical contact will have a week off before another round in a fortnight.

Burgess has locked in a summer series ahead of a Tasmanian bid in an ARU proposed semi-professional rugby sevens competition.

The state men’s final will be held on October 29 in Launceston when Devonport meet Harlequins.

ELUSIVE: Launceston Pink's Rioko Learmont looks to cross the North West line in the fourth round of the Tasmania rugby sevens at Royal Park. Pictures: Phillip Biggs

ELUSIVE: Launceston Pink's Rioko Learmont looks to cross the North West line in the fourth round of the Tasmania rugby sevens at Royal Park. Pictures: Phillip Biggs

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