Aussies make two Cape Town changes

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia's men have made two changes for this weekend's Cape Town Sevens, as they vie to crack the tournament's top four.

Ed Jenkins has been ruled out with injury, with Jeral Skelton replacing the former skipper in South Africa, while Matthew Hood has been elevated from 13th man, replacing Brandon Quinn.

Queenslander Skelton will make his World Series debut, at one of the most-hyped events on the Sevens calendar.

Australia's goal of semi-finals, after finishing fifth in Dubai will not be a simple one this weekend, with the USA, New Zealand and Spain their pool opponents.

A tough pool caught them out in the 2016-17 tournament, with Australia unable to crack the Cup quarter-finals.

The Aussie men want to take a step up in Cape Town. Photo: Getty ImagesCoach Andy Friend said his side needed to ensure they got the better of the match-deciding situations, after being beaten twice on the buzzer in Dubai.

“As a squad we talked last week how we needed to win more of the championship moments and that is our aim for this weekend," he said.

“We played some really good Rugby last round, now the challenge is to step up our game and finish off the key moments in what will be a tough pool in Cape Town.

“Matthew Hood came on and had some good involvements last week and I am excited to see Jeral Skelton make his World Series debut. He is a really exciting young talent with a lot of ability and potential in Sevens.

“The USA, New Zealand and Spain have three contrasting styles of play, but we are raring to go and finish off 2017 strongly heading into the HSBC Sydney 7s at home.” 

Australia's first pool game is against Spain on Saturday December 9, 8:43pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

TEAM

IN: Matthew Hood, Jeral Skelton

OUT: Brandon Quinn, Ed Jenkins

Aussie men's Sevens for Cape Town Sevens 

1.Matthew Hood, 2 caps, Sydney University

2. Simon Kennewell, 10 caps, Randwick

3. Sam Myers, 29 caps, Norths (Sydney)

4. Lewis Holland (c), 32 caps, Aussie 7s

5. James Stannard, 42 caps, Aussie 7s

6. John Porch, 10 caps, Norths (Sydney)

7. Tim Anstee, 11 caps, Eastwood

8. Boyd Killingworth, 14 caps, Manly

9. Jeral Skelton*, 1 cap, Brothers

10. Ben O’Donnell, 1 cap, Randwick

11. Maurice Longbottom, 1 cap, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team

12. Lachie Anderson, 8 caps, Eastwood

*HSBC Sevens World Series debut

FIXTURES

Saturday December 9

Australia vs Spain, 8.43pm AEDT 

Sunday December 10

Australia v USA, 12.04am AEDT

Australia v New Zealand, 4.12am AEDT

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