Australia Sevens welcome back key men
Australia Sevens men's coach Michael O’Connor has named his squad for the round four of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington, New Zealand, with a batch of stars set to return.
O’Connor makes six changes to the side that claimed the Bowl in South Africa in December, injecting a significant amount of experience back into the line-up for the first IRB tournament of 2013.
“We’re welcoming a lot of players back from injury, which is a big boost,” O’Connor said. “Experience is very important at this level. You can lose one or two players, but we basically lost our starting side to injury last year.”
The squad is still without regular captain Ed Jenkins, who injured his shoulder during the Gold Coast Sevens, and O’Connor is yet to decide on his captain for Wellington.
Forward Jesse Parahi does, however, return to the side for the first time since suffering an injury at the Coral Coast Sevens in November last year, while Allan Fa’alava’au, Lewis Holland and Shannon Walker all return to Australia’s backline.
Ben Adams has also worked his way back after a lengthy lay-off due to injury.
Adams made his debut for Australia at the Oceania Sevens in 2011 and impressed earlier this month as part of the Aussie Thunderbolts development squad at the Uprising Fiji International Sevens.
“We’ve been able to introduce a lot more players to international competition over the last few tournaments," added O'Connor.
“Our guys are building confidence by having more game time with each other but we still need to build cohesion and you can only do that by playing games.”
Australia were drawn in Pool D for Wellington alongside Portugal, Fiji and Scotland.
Australia Sevens: Cameron Clark, Ben Adams, Con Foley, Sean McMahon, Pama Fou, Jordan Tuapou, Allan Fa'alava'au, Tom Cusack, Will Miller, Shannon Walker, Jesse Parahi, Lewis Holland
Video: Story of the season so far
1-2 February 2013
Venue: Westpac Stadium