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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Men’s Sevens will embark on this weekend’s third World Series round in South Africa with an added sense of inspiration and sentiment following the death of the great Nelson Mandela.
Only one change has been made to the Australian side following last week’s Bowl win at the Dubai Sevens with Sam Myers from Grenfell in country New South Wales set to make his debut for Australia.
Myers has been called up to replace the injured, Lewis Holland after a successful season with Sydney’s Northern Suburbs Sevens team.
The 23-year-old has been a standout for the Shoremen, helping them progress to the international Coral Coast Sevens in Fiji following four tournament wins at the Bowral Sevens, Byron Bay Sevens, Central Coast Sevens and the inaugural Sydney Premier Sevens this year.
His combination of power and pace and ability to make numerous line breaks is set to add an extra dimension to a strong Qantas Men’s Sevens outfit this weekend.
The rest of the side will remain the same, retaining a mix of experience, including Super Rugby stars, James Stannard and Luke Morahan plus Sevens heavyweights, Con Foley, Shannon Walker and Captain Ed Jenkins, and youth, with Paul Asquith, Greg Jeloudev, and Sean McMahon.
Australia will compete in Pool A against Fiji (currently ranked second), Scotland (equal ninth), and France (twelfth) on day one of pool play tomorrow.
It will be the first time Australia has faced France and 2013/14 opening round Gold Coast Sevens Champions, Fiji this series.
Australia has played Scotland twice in pool games during the current World Series, drawing 21 – all in their first round on the Gold Coast, followed by their 21 – 17 loss to the Scots at the recent Dubai Sevens.
The Qantas Men’s Sevens’ losses to Scotland and Wales on day one during the last round saw the Aussies drop out of Cup contention in Dubai.
Despite suffering a difficult first day on the pitch, the Aussie men hit back with three impressive wins to secure the Bowl.
With two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series already completed, Australia is currently ranked fifth after finishing runners-up at the opening round on the Gold Coast in October and as Bowl victors in Dubai last week.
Australia will come together with the international Rugby community for the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth from 7 – 8 December.
Fans can watch both days live on Fox Sports from 8:00pm on Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 December. All matches will be streamed live at www.irbsevens.com
Qantas Men’s Sevens for third round of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Tom Kingston was nearly a Sevens player five years ago, just as he entered the professional rugby ranks.