No sooner had the Australian team for the Hong Kong Sevens been announced than the cruellest of blows was dealt to one of the fan favourites.
In what has been a disappointing outcome, Aussie sevens player Jesse Parahi has been ruled out of the team, having suffered an ankle injury in the final training session on Friday – a Grade 1 Syndesmosis or high ankle sprain.
His return to the side for Hong Kong had been long awaited by the big forward who has had a string of injury interruptions since the Rio Olympics.
Speaking on Thursday after his selection in the team for the Asian leg of the World Series over the coming fortnight, Parahi was excited by the prospect of returning to tournament action and felt he was ready, having put in a lot of hard training with complete focus on getting back on the field.
“It’s been a long time out for me. I had a few games in Cape Town but apart from that the Olympics was the last time I played,” he said.
“I’m just so excited to be playing rugby again.”
Unfortunately, Friday’s outcome has again put rugby on the backburner for Parahi.
Post Rio, he suffered an Achilles tendinopathy injury which required a long and patient ten weeks of rehabilitation.
After Cape Town, he suffered an injury to his cheek-bone in training which was re-injured just prior to Wellington putting Sydney out of reach as well.
This week’s selection for Hong Kong had meant he was back and fully fit – ready to bolster the Aussie Sevens stocks in both size and experience.
The injury is reportedly a mild one and the goal will be to have him back in contention for the penultimate tournament of the series in Paris in May.
As for the squad, Simon Kennewell moves into the main team with Mick Adams filling the 13th man spot.