New Australian Men’s Sevens captain Lewis Holland will look on for much of the 2016-17 season, but he says he still wants to have a positive influence on the national team squad.
Holland, a key member of the Rio Olympics squad, was officially unveiled as skipper on Monday in Sydney and said he would try to show the next generation of Sevens stars the way forward from the sidelines.
“Obviously it would have been good to have been out on the field but I’ll concentrate on the off field things,” Holland said.
“I’ll talk about culture and try to transfer some of my experience and my knowledge to the guys coming through.”
Speaking at the official unveiling of the new 2016-17 Asics national teams jersey at Narrabeen, Holland added that his predecessor Ed Jenkins would continue to play a key role in the World Sevens Series.
“You’ll still see ‘EJ’ leading the team the way he plays (on the field),” Lewis said.
The Men’s Sevens squad is going through a major phase of renewal with many of the stars who went to the Olympics (like Cam Clark, Con Foley and Tom Cusack) moving on and trying their hand at 15s Rugby.
“It a good mix, it’s a refreshing mix and those guys that are coming in are bringing fresh ideas about how they see the game being played.” - Lewis Holland.
But that means new faces and new skill sets can come into the national team squad, Holland said.
“It a good mix, it’s a refreshing mix and those guys that are coming in are bringing fresh ideas about how they see the game being played,” he said.
“That’s only going to be better for the guys that are already there and have done the same things year in and year out.
“It (squad renewal) also gives guys like Sammy Myers and Jesse Parahi the chance to step up and put their stamp on the way the team is lead and perceived on and off the field.”
Holland paid tribute to his long-standing predecessor Ed Jenkins who announced that he was stepping down from the captaincy in the wake of the Rio Olympics.
“There’s a few ways that you can be a captain and a leader – you can lead by example and ‘EJ’ did that very well.
“He was always there carrying the ball with intent and staying in the fight no matter what.
“I have learnt a lot from ‘EJ’ and the way he plays on the field but also the way that he speaks in the group off the field.” - Lewis Holland
“You can also lead through the way you speak and give guidance and I think that’s more the way I will be doing things.
“I have learnt a lot from ‘EJ’ and the way he plays on the field but also the way that he speaks in the group off the field.”
The Men kick off their World Sevens Series campaign in Dubai on December 2-3 and then head to Cape Town for the second leg on December 10-11.
The Sydney Sevens will be staged at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on February 4-5.