Australia experiments with men's Oceania side

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia's Sevens men have named an experimental lineup for the Oceania Sevens this weekend.

Where their female counterparts named one of their strongest teams for the event, the men have included eight uncapped players, with many of the top-liners returning from California, after winning the Silicon Valley Sevens.

Rookies Brandon Quinn, Dylan Pietsch and Tom Connor and Randwick's Croke are the only four players with any World Series experience heading to Fiji for the tournament.

Coach Andy Friend will also be missing from the tournament, himself coming back from the USA, handing the reins to assistant Jarred Hodges for the weekend.

Friend said it would be an invaluable opportunity for the debutants to put their hand up.

Brandon Quinn (L) tries to tackle Dan Norton  Photo credit: Getty images"Such is the global nature of rugby Sevens we have had commitments in America with the Silicon Valley Sevens and the Oceania Sevens in Suva, Fiji," he said.

“With eight guys to get their first cap for Australia, it gives our squad another opportunity to demonstrate the inroads we have been making across our entire squad following on from our success at the Central Coast Sevens.

“It is a massive year for our game and these guys know that we are still looking to secure some tier one contracts to enhance our squad.”

Hodges, who also steered the Australia Green development team at last month's Central Coast Sevens, said he was looking forward to seeing the players in action.

“There is some really exciting talent in this group and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do on the park this weekend, in what will be a very challenging competition," he said.

Australia will face some stiff competition in the pool stages, drawn alongside Tonga and the Solomon Islands.

The Oceania Sevens kicks off on Friday November 10, LIVE on Oceania Rugby's digital channels.

SQUAD

1.Jeral Skelton*, Brothers

2. Henry Clunies-Ross*, Sydney University

3. Sam Croke, 1 cap Randwick

4. Brandon Quinn, 4 caps Gordon

5. Matthew Hood*, Sydney University

6. Matthew McTaggart* (C), Eastern Suburbs

7. Dylan Pietsch, 5 caps, Randwick

8.Thomas Connor, 1 cap, Warringah

9. Brodie Leber*, Wests (Canberra)

10. Daniel Martine*, Warringah

11. Nicholas Price*, Southern Districts

12. Lachlan Miller*, Southern Cross University (Coffs Harbour)

 FIXTURE

Oceania Sevens - men 

Friday November 10

Australia vs Solomon Islands, 2pm AEDT

Australia vs Tonga, 5pm AEDT

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