Two debutants in Australia's Wellington Sevens squad

by Staff

The Qantas Australian Men's Sevens team will hand debuts to young forward Simon Kennewell and speedster John Porch for the third leg of the 2015-16 HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington next weekend.

Porch, 24, earned a call-up to the national Sevens squad after impressing in this year's Buildcorp National Rugby Championship for the North Harbour Rays while Sydneysider Simon Kennewell was a member of the Australian squad that won a silver medal in the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last September.

Backrower Sam Figg will add to his three World Series caps when he returns to the Sevens arena for the first time since London 2013 having signed a permanent deal with the centralised Australian Sevens program at the start of this year.

Interim Head Coach Scott Bowen has selected a relatively inexperienced squad for the trip to New Zealand's North Island with Henry Hutchison, Boyd Killingworth, Tom Kingston and Stefan Van Der Walt - all debutants this season - picked.

World Series regulars James Stannard, playmaker Allan Fa'alava'au and outside back Greg Jeloudev will also play at Westpac Stadium. Pama Fou (shoulder) and Pat McCutcheon (hamstring) are both unavailable due to injury.

Australia has been drawn in Pool D alongside Kenya, Canada and Portugal at the Wellington Sevens.

New Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend will assume a watching brief in Wellington before taking over the role permanently for the inaugural HSBC Sydney 7s the following weekend.

Scott Bowen said: "For us at the moment it is about three key considerations - managing the workloads of players in the program as we look towards Rio, giving experience to all of the players in the squad while also looking to get World Series points on the board.

"We're all looking forward to see how John [Porch] and Simon [Kennewell] perform at the highest level as well as the returning Sam Figg. Each of them are exciting talents in their own right, good characters and we think they can add something extra to the wider squad.

"With a new Head Coach watching on before taking over and players pushing for spots as we look towards the Olympics in August, I'm expecting to see plenty of hungry players who won't leave anything out on the pitch over the course of the two days in Wellington."

Fans can catch all the action from Wellington LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


Qantas Australian Men's Sevens fixtures in Wellington, New Zealand, 30-31 January

Australia v Portugal, Pool D, 11.20am AEDT (30 January)

Australia v Canada, Pool D, 2.22pm AEDT (30 January)

Australia v Kenya, Pool D, 5.38pm AEDT (30 January)


Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the HSBC Wellington Sevens at Westpac Stadium, New Zealand:

1. Henry Hutchison. Club: Randwick, NSW. Hometown: Crows Nest, NSW

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

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

4. Tom Lucas. Club: Sunnybank. Hometown: Rockhampton, QLD

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

6. Simon Kennewell. Place of Birth: Collaroy, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

7. Sam Figg. Club: Randwick, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

8. Greg Jeloudev. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

9. Boyd Killingworth. Club: Warringah Rats, NSW. Hometown: Collaroy, NSW

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

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

12. John Porch. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

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