Faces of Tamworth: Sevens star and Farrer alumni John Porch

John Porch is a regular in the Australian Sevens team. After debuting in Wellington back in 2016, Porch’s career has seen him play on the World Series circuit, at the 2016 Rio Olympics and most recently at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. But, his career really took off at Farrer under the watchful eye of a local coach.

Australian Sevens speedster John Porch has access to some of the best coaches in the game.

One of those coaches is Andy Friend who’s coached the Brumbies and is currently preparing the Australian side for the Commonwealth Games opener on Saturday.

However, when asked who’s had one of the biggest influences of his career, Porch’s mind immediately goes back to his playing days at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School.

“Kylie Dawson was my school coach from under 15s onward. She really helped me grow as a player and helped me grow outside of rugby as well,” Porch said of his former coach.

Dawson was “humbled” by the kind words from the knowledgeable player with a “good work ethic”.

“I’ve coached 100s of kids and John had an innate, natural ability to be able to do anything,” Dawson said.

“He just got better and better through the years I coached him.

“He could see things two or three plays ahead. He was always thinking and could predict what was going to happen.

“As he got older, he was just able to find that extra gear. His ability to keep going was phenomenal.”

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Dawson will be one of many watching keenly as Porch takes to the field for Australia this weekend.

Porch, who moved to Nundle from Orange when he was five before moving to Tamworth aged 12, will have his own personal cheer squad on the Gold Coast.

“It’s exciting. A home Commonwealth Games, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in front of my family and friends,” he said.

“Pretty much all my family and extended family are heading there.”

Porch “can’t wait” to get out onto the field at the Commonwealth Games and said the side was confident despite some big losses.

“We’ve had a few setbacks with Lewi [Lewis Holland] and Chucky [James Stannard] pulling out of the team through injuries but the boys that have come in have really stepped up. We’re really confident,” Porch said.

“We’ll be trying to keep it low key and make sure we’re fully ready [for the matches].”

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