SPORTS

Experience Counts

The Vodafone Fijian 7s and Australia have recalled their experienced players for this weekend’s USA 7s in Las Vegas followed by the Vancouver tournament in Canada. Australia head coach Andy
28 Feb 2017 11:25
Experience Counts

The Vodafone Fijian 7s and Australia have recalled their experienced players for this weekend’s USA 7s in Las Vegas followed by the Vancouver tournament in Canada.

Australia head coach Andy Friend has called on the experience of Ed Jenkins, Nick Malouf and Tom Lucas.

According to World Rugby, the trio have a combined 74 caps of experience to help bolster Friend’s youthful Australia outfit who currently sit sixth in the standings.

Jenkins returns for the first time since Cape Town following a shoulder injury, while Malouf and Lucas will also make their much-anticipated comebacks, with the former having endured an extended lay-off following Rio 2016. They replace Charlie Taylor, Simon Kennewell and Michael Adams in the squad.

Australia made the final four at the HSBC Sydney Sevens, their best performance of the 2016/17 series to-date, but lost out to eventual winners South Africa 26-12 in the semi-finals.

“Our top four finish at the Sydney Sevens gave our young guys a boost of confidence and they have worked hard since to continue their improvement,” Friend said.

“Welcoming Ed, Nick and Tom back into the side will add some extra experience to the squad and will give our young guys a great opportunity to continue to learn from those experienced players.

“Our younger players are continuing to learn the game of Sevens and conditioning themselves for the rigours of the World Series and we expect to see continued improvement from the team.”

Australia have been drawn as top seed in Pool D and will face Fiji, Japan and Scotland.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber has recalled last year’s Olympic gold medal winners Masivesi Dakuwaqa and Apisai Domolailai.

The injured duo make their return to the 2016/17 World Sevens Series along with nippy utility back Waisea Nacuqu.

“Masivesi and Apisai come in and I’m looking forward to seeing their leadership and points of difference on display over the next two legs. Also the return for Waisea, who has been very impressive during our training sessions,” Baber said.

Australia: Henry Hutchison,

Liam McNamara, Sam Myers (c),

Alex Gibbon, James Stannard,

Tate McDermott, Tim Anstee,

Tom Lucas, Ed Jenkins,

Nick Malouf, Brandon Quinn,

Lachie Anderson

Fiji: Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Mesulame Kunavula,  Sevuloni Mocenacagi,  Nemani Nagusa, Apisai Domolailai, Kalione Nasoko, Setareki Butuniyata, Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Vatemo Ravouvou, Alivereti Veitokani, Osea Kolinisau (c), Samisoni Viriviri, Joeli Lutumilagi

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