Final squads declared for Gold Coast Sevens

(IRB.COM) Friday 11 October 2013
 
 Final squads declared for Gold Coast Sevens
Chris Cracknell returns to England colours for the first time since injuring a knee on the Gold Coast last season

Hosts Australia, European champions England and Series champions New Zealand have all recalled key forwards to World Series action, as the coaches of all 16 nations declared their final squads of 12 one day out from the Gold Coast Sevens.

Ed Jenkins will captain Australia at round one of the new HSBC Sevens World Series this weekend, while Chris Cracknell makes a welcome return to England's colours. Both men suffered injuries on the first day of the season at Skilled Park last year, but have made full recoveries, as has Scott Curry for New Zealand.

However, the defending Series champions suffered a late blow when wing Sherwin Stowers was ruled out through injury, to be replaced by David Raikuna.

Pool A - NZL, KEN, USA, TON - SQUAD DETAILS >>

New Zealand coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, recalls Mark Jackman, Joe Webber and Scott Curry to his side and can also still count on his 'fantastic four' - captain DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula, Tomasi Cama and IRB Sevens Player of the Year, Tim Mikkelson - along with the influential Sam Dickson. Ambrose Curtis makes his Series debut.

Interim Kenya coach Felix Ochieng has firepower in Oscar Ouma and Collins Injera but the Kenyans will miss France-bound Willie Ambaka and Dennis Ombachi, who was unavailable. Daniel Sikuta is the only debutant, while Andrew Amonde retains the captaincy.

New USA coach Matt Hawkins selects himself in his first squad of 12, which also features recalls for Miles Craigwell and Tai Enosa. Nick Edwards captains the side, which also boasts the fastest man in world rugby, Carlin Isles, and one of the stand-out players of last season, Zach Test.

Manu Vunipola hands out seven debuts for Tonga, who qualified to play courtesy of their performance at the 2012 Oceania Sevens. There is a new captain in Ofa Finau.

Pool B - RSA, ENG, FRA, ESP
- SQUAD DETAILS >>

South Africa only arrived on the Gold Coast in the early hours of Friday after weather disrupted their travel, but new coach Neil Powell has named a strong side. Branco du Preez, Paul Delport and Seabelo Senatla may all be out injured but Frankie Horne returns after missing the World Cup and captain Kyle Brown has had a full pre-season. Another forward Chris Dry is one try away from 50 in his career. South Africa are one of only two sides with no debutants.

New England coach, former captain Simon Amor, selects Tom Powell as his first captain and recalls Chris Cracknell, who has recovered from the knee injury he suffered on the Gold Coast last year. Phil Burgess makes his debut and Dan Bibby is selected ahead of Marcus Watson. Out wide there is pace to burn with Dan Norton, Mat Turner and Tom Mitchell.

Injury has deprived France coach Frederic Pomarel of both Terry Bourahoua and Jean-Bapatiste Gobelet, both of whom will instead be in the studio of new French broadcaster, Canal Plus. Otherwise the French are largely unchanged from last season with Vincent Deniau captaining a side featuring the country's all-time leading point and try scorer, Paul Albaladejo, and two debutants.

New Spain coach Santiago Santos rings the changes with six men playing at this level for the first time. With Pablo Feijoo not selected, Angel Lopez captains the side. Javier Carrion, Cesar Sempere and Matias Tudela provide some continuity from last season and the Spaniards will be looking for a similar start, having beaten England here last year to claim the Bowl.

Pool C - FIJ, WAL, CAN, POR
- SQUAD DETAILS >>

Fiji and their new coach Ben Ryan will be looking to defend their Gold Coast Sevens title, having won in Australia for the last two years. Osea Kolinisau captains them but key men in Levani Botia and Setefano Cakau were unable to travel and Joji Raqamate has signed for French club Dax. Ryan hands out four debuts in his first squad selection.

Paul John gives Adam Field a first appearance at this level in an otherwise experienced Wales squad, which recorded two victories against South Africa recently in winning the Middelburg Sevens. Adam Thomas leads the team and playmaker Lee Williams starts the new season two tries short of 50.

Canada coach Geraint John names Nathan Hirayama as captain and has experience in the likes of Nanyak Dala, John Moonlight and Ciaran Hearn. Pat Kay and Patrick Parfrey make their debuts.

Portugal are one of only two nations to select no debutants, Aderito Esteves, David Mateus and captain Pedro Leal all nearing 40 tournament selections for Pedro Netto Fernandes' side.

Pool D - SAM, AUS, ARG, SCO - SQUAD DETAILS >>

Ed Jenkins returns to captain Australia after fully recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered on the Gold Coast last season. The side is packed with experience, while there are debuts for Alex Gibbon and Tom Lucas.

Having scored a hat-trick in the final of the Oceania Sevens, Misioka Timoteo makes his World Series debut under new Samoa coach, Viliamu Punivalu. Timoteo is one of four debutants, and Reupena Levasa captains the side.

New Argentina coach Santiago Gomez Cora has experience in Diego Palma, Gaston Revol and captain Nicolas Bruzzone - who is two tries away from 50 - but also rings the changes with five Series debutants.

Fijian-born British army soldier Joe Nayacavou makes his Scotland debut along with Gregor Young. Colin Gregor was not able to reach full fitness for this first round of the season, so Scott Riddell captains a side featuring Andrew Turnbull, who plays his 50th World Series tournament. 

For the first time this season all the action from the HSBC Sevens World Series will be streamed live online at irbsevens.com, starting with round one, the Gold Coast Sevens on 12-13 October.

MATCH SCHEDULE - GOLD COAST SEVENS >>

Gold Coast Sevens

Round 1
11-12 October 2014
Venue: Skilled Park
City: Gold Coast
Capacity: 27,400

 
Pools
Pool A
TeamPlayedPts
NZL39
KEN37
USA35
TON33
Pool B
TeamPlayedPts
RSA39
ENG37
FRA35
ESP33
Pool C
TeamPlayedPts
FIJ37
WAL37
CAN37
POR33
Pool D
TeamPlayedPts
AUS38
SAM37
ARG35
SCO34
more
Photos
  • Dan Bibby of England
  • Players from Australia and New Zealand line up
  • Fans at the Gold Coast Sevens