Aussie Invasion: Footballers Hayne and Olver Shake Up Bay Area Sports

Ella Mulligan '19, Writer

There’s a new Cat on campus and he’s causing quite a stir on the football field.  Junior Sebastian Olver recently moved to Marin from Brisbane, Australia. Playing on the Marin Catholic Varsity team in his first-ever year of football is quite an achievement. It is Sebastian’s extensive rugby experience that helps him dominate the football field as both a defensive and tight end.  The Roar interviewed Olver on his newfound talent, his thoughts on football’s similarities to rugby, and where he hopes the game might lead him in his future.

Having never played football prior to coming to the United States, Olver was introduced to the game during MC’s five preseason games, and quickly got the hang of it.  When asked what his favorite part of football was, Olver responded, “the culture of the game and the brotherhood is amazing.” Olver added that the training schedule can be “extremely difficult at times.”

When the conversation turned to rugby and how his skills have transferred to football, Olver said,  “Aspects of rugby, like the physicality and some of the basic skills, transfer over the principles very similar.”  He went on to say that the Aussie Football League (AFL) is similar to American football in that it is also very physical and that there’s a “fair bit of running.” 

When asked about perhaps playing football at an American university, he replied, “It would be a total dream to go play football at an American college!” Based on his obvious talent, many in the MC community say that this is a definite possibility for Sebastian’s future.

Sebastian’s story relates to former rugby player Jarryd Hayne, a 27-year-old Australian running back who made his American football debut with the 49ers earlier this season. When he lived in Australia, Hayne was a star in the National Rugby League (NRL) – basically, he was (and still is) the Tom Brady of Australia!  As a member of the 49ers, Haynes immediately made a strong impression after making a 37-yard punt return assisting quarterback Colin Kaepernick in scoring the only touchdown during their game against the Cardinals earlier in September. Parallels can be drawn between Olver’s arrival at Marin Catholic and Hayne’s arrival on the 49ers: both are tremendous all-around athletes, both are well-liked, well-spoken Aussies, and both have bolstered local Bay Area football teams to amazing achievements.

The Roar looks forward to watching the rest of Olver’s career as a Wildcat and can’t wait to see what exciting things he accomplishes in his future!

*Editor’s Note: In a shocking turn of events, Hayne was cut from the 49er’s roster on October 31st. That doesn’t affect Sebastian though – you can be sure Marin Catholic’s Aussie is here to stay!