SPORTS

Kennewell Here To Impress Coach On His Comeback Trail

Playing at the McDonald’s Fiji Coral Coast 7s tournament at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka is the opportunity for veteran Australian 7s forward Simon Kennewell to push his claims for a World
19 Jan 2019 11:00
Kennewell Here To Impress Coach On His Comeback Trail
Australian 7s forward Simon Kennewell hopes to make his return in the Hamilton and Sydney tournaments. Photo: Rugby.com.au

Playing at the McDonald’s Fiji Coral Coast 7s tournament at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka is the opportunity for veteran Australian 7s forward Simon Kennewell to push his claims for a World Sevens Series return.

Kennewell had spent nearly a year in rehab but told SUNsports on Tuesday that he’s hopeful to make the Australian 7s team for the Hamilton and Sydney tournaments.

The Australian 7s team are in Pool A with the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s, Argentina and Wales.

Kennewell ruptured his ACL before last year’s Sydney 7s tournament and had been on the re­covery road.

He travelled with the team to Cape Town in South Africa last December as the squad’s 14th man but didn’t play.

Playing at the Coral Coast tournament under the Australian Decelopment 7s side is his first full tournament since injuring his knee and un­dergoing shoulder surgery and his first major step towards pushing for selection for Hamilton and Sydney. events

Kennewell said watching on as his teammates won the Sydney title last year was a “bitter­sweet” way to begin a long recovery.

“To do that so close and particularly after the boys won that Sydney 7s tournament, was like rubbing salt into the wound, it was bittersweet,” he said.

Kennewell’s off-field contributions have been valuable for the side as well, coach Tim Walsh said.

“He’s learned an incredible amount about him­self and injuries and about being a professional athlete within that time and he is champing at the bit to get back on,” he said.

Rather than being dragged down by his poor fortune, Walsh said Kennewell was actually the man tasked with keeping the side energised throughout the season despite his injury.

“He’s in our executive group in the team and he’s constantly positive, he’s full of energy and his role within the team is to monitor that (en­ergy) and come up with different ways to make sure that everyone’s bouncing off the walls with him at the right time,” he said.

“To have that role whilst being injured is pretty impressive but it’s part of his personality and I think it’s a real show of character, how he’s come through it.”

Walsh will name his final squad on Monday.

ARGENTINA READY

Argentina 7s head coach Santiago Gómez Cora has named his squad for the Hamilton and Syd­ney tournaments.

The squad will be captained by Gaston Revol.

“Both Fernando (Luna) and Rodrigo (Etchart) are top players who join the group after missing much of last season.” Gomez Cora said.

“Maybe they arrive without so much rhythm of the game, but it was good that they could com­pete in Punta del Este and had time to fit in.”

Next Saturday by 10.52am the Fijians take on Wales before they face Argentina at 2.42pm. The final pool clash against Australia will be on 6.52pm.

Argentina: Renzo Barbier, Luciano González, Rodrigo Etchart, Lautaro Bazán Vélez, Santi­ago Mare, Santiago Álvarez, Lucio Cinti, Mar­cos Moroni, Mateo Carreras, Germán Schulz, Gastón Revol, Fernando Luna, Franco Sábato.

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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