Australia's preparation for NZ begins in Fiji
Michael O’Connor has named his Aussie Thunderbolts development side for the Uprising Fiji International Sevens tournament being held in Fiji from 18-19 January.
Two weeks before the fourth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in New Zealand, the Australia Sevens head coach will use the opportunity to further develop the experience of his players.
The Uprising Fiji International Sevens will be the first action for members of the Australia Sevens side since their Bowl triumph at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth in December 2012.
O’Connor also plans to use the tournament to return several players from injury and build a platform for Wellington in February.
“The biggest thing these guys need is more game time together,” O’Connor said.
“We showed from Dubai to Port Elizabeth the benefits of having played more time together and this is another opportunity to gain some experience before we’re back on the World Series.”
The Thunderbolts will feature seven members of the side that claimed the Bowl in Port Elizabeth, with Lewis Holland, Jesse Parahi and Shannon Walker all returning from injury.
Australian Under 20 player Thomas Cusack and former Gold Coast Titans development prospect Lausii Taliauli have also been brought into the squad.
In New Zealand, Australia will face pool matches with Portugal, Fiji and Scotland.
Aussie Thunderbolts for Uprising Fiji International Sevens:
Cam Clark, Thomas Cusack, Con Foley, Pama Fou, Lewis Holland, Laloifi Junior Laloifi, Peter Lee, Nick Malouf, Jesse Parahi, Lausii Taliauli, Jordan Tuapou, Shannon Walker
1-2 February 2013
Venue: Westpac Stadium