Gold rush for Nasser siblings as Olympics, Test season looms large

Wed, Jun 19, 2024, 3:30 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey
High-flying siblings Bella (Australian Sevens) and Josh (Queensland Reds & Wallabies Train-On Squad) Nasser together at Ballymore Stadium. Picture: Brendan Hertel
High-flying siblings Bella (Australian Sevens) and Josh (Queensland Reds & Wallabies Train-On Squad) Nasser together at Ballymore Stadium. Picture: Brendan Hertel

Australian fans might be treated to more than one Nasser in gold this year with siblings Bella and Josh in the national spotlight.

Now an established Australian Women's Sevens star and aspiring Paris Olympian, Bella, 21, is preparing with Tim Walsh's squad for this week's internal trial tournament featuring Fiji, Japan and Australia A at Ballymore Stadium.

Catch every game of Australia's Olympics Sevens, ad-free and on demand on Stan Sport.

Just 50m down the footpath, Josh, 24, is training under the watchful eye of "Lord" Laurie Fisher and national staff as part of a Wallabies train-on squad following his strong Super Rugby Pacific campaign for Queensland.

A brief pause between sessions saw Josh and Bella front media together as the race for gold jerseys heats up.

"Definitely still pinching myself. Playing for my country has always been a dream of mine so to be here and playing alongside people I've looked up to all my life is really cool," Bella said.

"This is my first full season with Australian Sevens and everyone's welcomed me with open arms.

"We're really excited coming off a really good tournament (in Madrid) and going into the Olympics."

"Winning at a pinnacle event like Madrid only instills confidence in us and I think going into the Olympics in good form and good stead is something we're really embracing.

"My family's super supportive of me and Josh, they never put pressure on us to play rugby or do anything we didn't want to do so it all kind of fell in place."

While Bella's immediate focus is securing a maiden Olympics berth with Australia's "golden girls", Josh's remains at Ballymore with the hooker re-signing with Queensland for another two seasons (through 2026).

Now, it's just head down bum up as "Lord" Laurie and the Wallabies staff watch on.

"There's no place I'd rather be," Josh told media on Wednesday.

"It's been a refreshing change this year with the coaching staff. Obviously had Thorny for the last few years who's been awesome for my development and then Kissy and the rest of the staff coming in have taken the boys to a whole new level."

"It's awesome (being named in the train-on squad) - a childhood dream to represent my country.

"It's chance to put my best foot forward to getting selected. All I can do is keep training hard and see how I go."

In a statement, Reds coach Les Kiss welcomed Josh's decision to extend at Ballymore.

“It’s great news that Josh has decided to re-commit on the back of a really good season,” Kiss said.

“He’s an important part of the tight five strength we continue to build and an important member of the squad generally. He’s always striving to be the best he can be.”

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