Australia cap flawless Sevens preparation
Michael O'Connor's Aussie Thunderbolts matched their female compatriots the Pearls in winning the Noosa International Sevens at the weekend, kick-starting their final preparations for the Gold Coast Sevens - Fever Pitch.
The victory follows Australia's recent success against Samoa in the final of the 2012 Oceania Sevens, a result which also qualified them for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.
The question now is whether O'Connor's side can claim a first home title on the World Series since winning in Brisbane a decade ago.
Like the Pearls, the Thunderbolts went undefeated over the course of the two days in Noosa, which provided a tough challenge for several World Series stars returning from injury.
“This weekend has allowed us to firm up selections for the Qantas Men’s Sevens side to play Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch this coming weekend,” O’Connor said.
“We struck some quality sides this weekend and really had to push, so it was really satisfying to come away with a tournament win.
“It was great to see our guys in action and to see some other quality players that are out there.”
O’Connor will name his 12-man squad for the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Wednesday.
“We got to see a lot of players who are returning from injury and everyone put their hand up,” O’Connor said. “It was satisfying. It was a good tournament for us.”
Morahan ready for Sevens return
One man not involved in Noosa but ready to make a comeback for O'Connor this weekend is Luke Morahan.
Recently called into the Wallabies squad for their final Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Rosario, Morahan is set to star for the Sevens team and is hoping to see a big crowd turn out to the Gold Coast Sevens as he returns to the World Series stage for the first time since the 2008/09 season.
“I grew up there (Gold Coast) so it’s like a home tournament for me, so it will be good to see a lot of people turn up and have a good time,” Morahan said.
“It’s a good place to being playing. There’s a lot of support there and they like their Rugby. Obviously playing in your home country and your home town is great, there’s no jet lag so you’re ready to go. Training there for the last couple of months is definitely a big help too.
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Switch on to the HSBC Sevens World Series!
13-14 October 2012
Venue: Skilled Park
City: Gold Coast