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As the announcer named the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Rookie of the Year last Sunday, Matías Osadczuk turned around and woke his brother up from his Sunday nap. His name had come up on the screen at the end of season awards in Twickenham while he was in Haedo, in the west of Buenos Aires, watching through social media.
“I was very happy and woke my older brother Santiago up to celebrate; soon after, the whole family gathered and took it from there,” says the Pumas Sevens’ find of the season, who is recovering from a knee injury that cut his season short after Hong Kong.
“I was tackled against Australia and didn’t really feel it go; during the week it wasn’t painful but it was certainly injured. Only when I returned home was I told it was cruciate ligaments," he said.
Discovered while training for the Buenos Aires Sevens team ahead of the National Sevens Championship in 2015, he was selected to play in the Chile Sevens, part of Sudamérica Rugby’s sevens circuit in January 2016. He was spotted by the U20s selectors, joining that team in time to make it to Manchester where Los Pumitas finished third. Although he played very little, the rest, as they say, is history.
“It was all very quick and it took some adapting. I come from SITAS (Sociedad Italiana de Tiro al Segno) which is not in the top division so some things I’d never practised, the speed of training and some individual techniques I had to work hard to be on par,” he explained.
The Osadczuks are part of a clan in SITAS. His father and uncles played at the club and his older brother and four cousins play in the senior squad. “There were five of us the day of my senior debut, aged 17, against DAOM, in 2015, which was great because we won!”
When he spoke to World Rugby he was at the club on a cold Tuesday night. He helps out with whichever team they ask him to, true to the spirit that runs through the Argentine club system.
“I am hoping to be fully fit by November when the club season is all but over which is a pity.”
“I got better in things that I worked on this year, such as decision-making and high-balls. I always liked sevens and now that I’ve had the chance to play at the highest level and travel it has been great. You get to live with people you don’t really know who become friends while sampling different cultures.”
He won’t be able to add the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 to his CV though despite playing at the competion in England last year.
“I was hoping to play more minutes in the U20 Championship. It is a pity I won’t be there because this is a team with a strong base from last year and they had a good tour of New Zealand earlier this year.”
He is not looking too much into the future, prioritizing his injury rehab for another shot at the sevens series.
“I’d also love to be involved with Jaguares one day,” he said.
As for the Rookie of the Year Award, he is uncertain who has it. “Not too sure if Santi brought it or if I have to go to pick it up at the UAR!"