Speight one of three debutants named for Aussie sevens trip to Dubai

by Staff Writer

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens interim coach Scott Bowen has selected three debutants in his 12-man squad for the opening round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Wallaby Henry Speight will earn his first national Sevens cap with lightning 24-year-old back Tom Kingston and rugged Stephan van der Walt also set to make their World Series bows at 50,000 capacity The Sevens Stadium.

Ed Jenkins will captain the side, while star centre Cameron Clark needs just 30 points to overtake Peter Miller and become Australia's all-time leading points scorer in the history of the Sevens World Series.

Pat McCutcheon (hamstring) and Nick Malouf (knee) are unavailable for the Dubai Sevens due to injury.

Australia head to Dubai on the back of some fine form having won the Central Coast Sevens last month and the Oceania Regional Olympic Qualifier in Auckland a fortnight ago. Last December, the Aussies finished tournament runners-up in Dubai after falling to a red-hot South Africa in the Cup Final.

Scott Bowen said: "Everyone is excited for Dubai. The boys did well at the event 12 months ago and there is no reason to think we can't perform well this time around.

"The team is looking sharp and the players are fit and raring to go. As a group, we are battle-hardened having played in some high-pressure tournaments. When you add the fact we have three debutants keen to make their mark, then it's a tournament for all of us - from players, coaches and fans - to look forward to."

The Dubai Sevens is the first of 10 legs on a re-vamped Men's World Series calendar that now features Cape Town, Sydney, Singapore and Paris.

Australia finished the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series in fifth position, 12 points behind fourth-placed England.

The Dubai Sevens will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 1 from 3.30pm AEDT on Friday 4 December and on the same channel from 6pm AEDT on Saturday 5 December.

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens fixtures in Dubai, UAE, 4-5 December

Australia v Kenya, Pool D, 6.36pm AEDT (4 December)

Australia v Wales, Pool D, 10.20pm AEDT (4 December)

Australia v England, Pool D, 3.42am AEDT (5 December)

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the Dubai Sevens at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, UAE:

1. Henry Speight. Club: Aquis Brumbies, ACT. Hometown: Canberra, ACT

2. Tom Kingston. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

3. Sam Myers. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Grenfell, NSW

4. Lewis Holland. Club: Queanbeyan Whites, NSW. Hometown: Queanbeyan, NSW

5. James Stannard. Club: Souths, QLD. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD

6. Con Foley. Club: University of Queensland, QLD. Hometown: Fairfield, QLD

7. Cameron Clark. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

8. Stephan van der Walt. Place of Birth: Kersdop, South Africa

9. Ed Jenkins. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

10. Allan Fa'alava'au. Club: Endeavour Hills, VIC. Hometown: Melbourne, VIC

11. Pama Fou. Club: Souths, QLD. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD.

12. Tom Cusack. Club: Canberra Royals, ACT. Hometown: Canberra, ACT

Catch the Australian Men's Sevens team at the Sydney Sevens on February 6-7, 2016. To buy tickets,click here.

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