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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Sevens coach Michael O’Connor has named his strongest squad of the HSBC Sevens World Series season, with seven of his players set to return Twickenham with the invaluable experience of winning the tournament.
O’Connor has made three changes to his 12-man squad for the final UK leg of series with Henry Vanderglas, Dan Yakopo and Jesse Parahi coming into the side for the London (21-22 May) and Edinburgh (28-29 May) tournaments.
Australia returns to London as the defending champions after a thrilling 19-14 victory over South Africa in the Cup Final at Twickenham last year snapped an eight-year title drought.
The young Aussies nearly made it back-to-back titles in Edinburgh the following weekend, but were trumped by eventual World Series champions Samoa in the decider.
New ARU recruit and former Brisbane Broncos player Denan Kemp has been included in the extended 15-man squad which will assemble on the Gold Coast on May 12.
Kemp, and fellow shadow players Shaun Foley and Jason Seage will continue preparations at camp and are on standby should there be any injuries before the team departs for London on May 16.
With two tournaments remaining, New Zealand (134) and England (121) will fight it out for the 2010/11 title with holders Samoa (100) and South Africa (92) possibly too far back to challenge. Fifth-placed Fiji (90) hold a commanding 38-point lead over sixth-placed Australia (52).
Australia: Bernard Foley (capt), Ed Jenkins, (vc), Hamish Angus, Lewis Holland, Zack Holmes, Greg Jeloudev, Jono Lance, Jesse Parahi, Brian Sefanaia, Jacob Taylor, Henry Vanderglas, Dan Yakopo.
Australian Rugby Sevens proudly supported by the Australian Institute of Sport
Over 500 young men and women had the opportunity to show off their skills and athleticism yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s Search for a Star took place across the country looking to identify players who may have the potential to represent their country in Rugby Sevens.