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We're not thinking of gold - for now, says Clark

  
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7/22/2014
By ARU Media Unit


Men's Sevens star Cameron Clark has warned the Australian team of the perils of looking too far ahead when their Commonwealth Games campaign kicks off next weekend in Glasgow.

The Australian Men's Sevens team landed in Scotland on Saturday afternoon ahead of the XX Commonwealth Games - Geraint John's first as Men's Head Coach - and have been drawn in the same pool alongside England, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

21-year-old Clark wants his side to put down an early marker in the pool stages at Ibrox Stadium.

"We're all really looking forward to Glasgow and continuing our good form. We got to the Cup Final in London in May and we're hoping to go one better in the Commonwealth Games.

"We've not been able to do an awful lot of analysis on Sri Lanka and Uganda. Sri Lanka played in the Sevens World Series in Hong Kong so we've seen a little bit of them in action but not too much. Obviously we've played England a number of times over the past year, most recently in the Cup Semis at the London Sevens. They are always a tough side to play against and finished in the top four themselves last season.

Clark, who was named in the IRB 2013-14 Sevens Team of the Year, added: "We are going to have to show up physically and mentally for the opening two games and can't afford to take any games lightly. We'll look to get through those games first up and hopefully play off for top spot against the English."

In Michael O'Connor's last tournament as Men's Head Coach, the Aussie reserved their finest half of Rugby of the season for the Cup Semi Final against England at Twickenham.

"We did well against England the last time we played them and we'll be looking to replicate that. They will clearly be quite close to home, they will have a lot of support and we'll have to be up for the battle."

190cm forward Tom Cusack, returning to the Sevens fold after a length injury lay-off, is raring to go after a 10-month absence from the game.

The Canberra-born Cusack said: "I'm looking forward to returning after a bit of time out of the game. I've been ready to go for a while and it's now just a matter of getting out on the paddock.

"I've never played in Glasgow before and it'll be a real thrill to play in front of such a big crowd at the Commonwealth Games. It should be a great atmosphere.

"I'm particularly looking forward to experiencing the whole Australian team and village atmosphere, everyone supporting each other and mixing with other sports. My friends and family will be watching - my mum always has a vested interest in my Rugby and is keen to go herself."

New Zealand has won every Commonwealth Games event since the sport's inception in 1998. Australia claimed the silver medal in Delhi four years ago after narrowly losing out to the All Blacks in a classic Gold Medal match.

Australian Men's Sevens Commonwealth Games fixtures in Glasgow, 26-27 July:
Australia v Sri Lanka, Pool D (from 7.50pm AEST) on Saturday
Australia v Uganda (from 10.12pm AEST) on Saturday

Australia v England (from 6.48am AEST) on Sunday


Other key timings:

Semi-Final matches (from 3.40am AEST) on Monday, 28 July
Medal matches (from 6.15am AEST) on Monday, 28 July

Broadcast Coverage:
Channel Ten