Preseason success must be backed up in Dubai: Holland

by Sam Phillips

Preseason success means little unless the Aussie Sevens fire in Dubai, according to skipper Lewi Holland.

Plenty has been made of the three Cup titles coach Andy Friend's side have claimed in the preseason and there is no doubt the squad looks in tip top form as the season nears.

The Australians came from behind to claim the Silicon Valley Sevens when they last rolled close to their strongest side out and Holland hopes that form will roll on come the opening leg of the World Series.

"The build up was good and we got some positive results - hopefully that leads into the World Series," Holland said.

"It doesn't mean anything until we get one of the victories, one of those titles there.

"We're pushing for that and hopefully this year we get a few."

Dubai will mark the start of an enormous year for Holland's troops.

A home Commonwealth Games, Sevens World Cup and a World Series title are all up for grabs and Holland said a hot start would be critical to a successful season.

"It's a massive year, there is plenty of footy to be played and if you start strong, you'll finish strong," he said.

"I think with the team we've got, we've got enough experience to know what we are going to expect over there in Dubai and then into Cape Town.Holland will lead the Aussies in Dubai. Photo: Getty Images"There are plenty of young guys there that had eight, nine, even 10 - Timmy Anstee had 10 last year - he's got plenty of experience and he knows what he's up against and what he needs to do to prepare for all tournaments leading into this season.

"Across the board a lot of boys have had game time and that can only put us in good stead, I reckon."

When Holland takes to the field in Dubai it will mark his first major tournament since snapping his achilles in Rio but a familiar face won't be running out alongside the skipper, with Tom Lucas ruled out due to a shoulder injury. 

"It's a massive loss," Holland said.

"He's done some very good things in the preseason and he's worked hard.

"I think the guys have enough belief within each other that if one guy falls out, the next guy that comes in is going to do just as good a job as he will.

"It's disappointing for Tuck but exciting for Quinny to come in and see what he can do - prove what he has done in the preseason can payoff in games."


Australian Men's Sevens fixtures

Friday December 1

Australia v Wales, 4.44pm AEDT

Australia v Russia, 7.44pm AEDT

Saturday 2 December

Australia v Fiji, 2.06am AEDT

The Dubai Sevens kick off on November 31, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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