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'It means everything': Son of ABs great reflects on 'unreal' sevens debut

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Teenager Payton Spencer has followed in the footsteps of his legendary father with determination and poise, having made his international debut with the All Blacks Sevens in Sydney.

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The 18-year-old is the son of All Blacks great Carlos Spencer, who played his last test match in the coveted black jersey almost 20 years ago.

New Zealand Rugby announced earlier this month that Spencer had signed a two-year deal with the All Blacks Sevens squad.

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The rising star is clearly a player to watch, a star of tomorrow even; almost deserving of the generational talent moniker, but only time will tell.

Spencer was named in the All Blacks Sevens’ squad to venture across the ditch for the Sydney Sevens – setting up his first visit to neighbouring country Australia.

And Spencer was given an immediate opportunity to settle any nerves and kick start his career in black, having been named to start in their tournament opener against Uruguay.

Showcasing attacking flair and an abundance of pace, the teenager crossed for a double during the emphatic 45-7 victory.

Walking off the field after his sensational debut, you couldn’t wipe the smile off the exciting talents face – and his grin began to widen as he reflected on the significance of the jersey.

“(There were) a few nerves, wasn’t too many, not as much as I thought there’d be,” Spencer told RugbyPass.

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“It’s pretty unreal to put the black jersey on for the first time, especially in this kind of stadium. It’s pretty unreal. First time coming to Aussie as well.

“Been everywhere around the world but never been to the closest country.

“It means everything, especially because dads obviously played in the black jersey before.”

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Following in the footsteps of giants is no easy feat, but the pressure and expectation that follows being the son of a legend must be immense.

Not that the rising star is feeling it though. Certainly, going off his one outing at international level so far, he’s not showing it either.

“To represent him and make my family proud, and especially to put this kind of jersey on when you’re 18 years old, (it’s) something incredible,” he added.

“It’s always been a challenge but it’s never going to go away so you might as well embrace it.”

The All Blacks Sevens have earned a reset after that stunning 38-point win, and won’t take the field again until tomorrow.

Early tomorrow morning, New Zealand will take on Kenya and later South Africa to round out pool play.

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