Lucas to skipper Aussies in Vancouver Sevens

by Jill Scanlon

The Australian Men’s Sevens side will go to Vancouver with just the one change for this weekend.

Tournament captain Sam Myers has had to return to Australia with an abdominal strain which brings Simon Kennewell into the team, moving up from the non-playing 13th man spot.  

Mick Adams, who was playing in the Tribe Sevens side at the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament, now takes up that emergency position in the squad.  

Tom Lucas will step up to the captaincy duties following a solid performance last weekend in his return to the World Series circuit.

20 year old Kennewell should slot easily into the team having been on tour for all this season’s tournaments to date.


Despite the immediate disappointment of their sixth place finish in Las Vegas, the Aussies performed well overall and, apart from Myers, have come out of the tough three-day tournament relatively unscathed.

Coach Andy Friend is looking forward to the challenges which the first day of competition in Vancouver is going to throw up.

“We have a very exciting pool with France, Japan and USA,” he said.

“We are neck and neck with the USA on the Series standings so it’s a great opportunity for us to have them in our pool.
 
“France is (also) a dangerous team and we have only played them once since Rio,” said Friend.

Now sitting just below Australia in the rankings, the USA has its tail up and will be looking to ride the momentum of last weekend to another big result.

So Australia will be keen to get wins on the board against France and Japan before tackling the USA juggernaut.

Andy Friend is ready for the challenge and feeling confident, having lost only narrowly in the Quarter Finals last weekend to eventual winners, South Africa, and having pushed Olympic champions Fiji in the pool stage.

The youngsters in the team are continuing to put in impressive performances with Lachie Anderson emerging as the standout performer for the Aussies in Las Vegas, making World Rugby’s Dream Team for the tournament, in just his second World Series appearance.

 

Drawn in Pool C, Australia should acquit itself well against its Day One opponents, if performances front the last two tournaments are an accurate measure and will be looking for another final eight berth.

The second tournament of the North American World Series pair has become a popular event for rugby fans and organisers are expecting big crowds over the two days.

TEAM

Australian Sevens squad for Vancouver 7s

Henry Hutchison

Liam McNamara

Simon Kennewell

Alex Gibbon

James Stannard

Tate McDermott

Tim Anstee

Tom Lucas

Ed Jenkins

Nick Malouf

Brandon Quinn

Lachie Anderson

Michael Adams – 13th man

FIXTURE

Vancouver Sevens, Sunday March 12

Australia vs France, 4:30am AEDT

Australia vs Japan, 8:06am AEDT

Australia v USA, 12:08pm AEDT 

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