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By ARU Media Unit
Having wrapped up their most successful year in Sevens history, the Australian squad have once again been rewarded with individual honours after having four members of the Commonwealth Games squad selected on the Qantas Wallabies Spring Tour to Hong Kong and Europe.
Skipper Pat McCutcheon, flyers Luke Morahan and Lachie Turner and the first-ever Melbourne Rebels Wallaby tourist Nick Phipps have all gained selection in Robbie Deans' squad for the seven-match (five-Test) tour.
The selection of four of the stand-outs from Delhi further cemented the importance of the shortened form of the game which has progressed considerably over the past 12 months in Australia following the sport’s inclusion to the Olympic roster from 2016.
“I think a few of the boys showed serious credentials over the last two days which should stand them in good stead to get a call up to the (Wallabies) national team,” O’Connor said prior to the Qantas Wallabies squad announcement.
However it isn’t only the Wallabies where household names are being made. From the 25 Sevens players used in 2010, nine have been signed to Super Rugby franchises for the inaugural Super Rugby season.
The Reds have snapped up a quartet of home-grown talent in Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, Dominic Shipperley and Kimami Sitauti who all featured for the Australian Under 20s as well as the Sevens in 2010. The Waratahs have signed try-scoring machine Brackin Karauria-Henry and flanker Pat McCutcheon, the Brumbies have promoted Ed Stubbs to a full-time deal, the Force have signed halfback James Stannard and the Melbourne Rebels snapped up talented No.9 Nick Phipps.
The 2010 Australian Sevens squad and their record-breaking feats have created fresh enthusiasm and interest in Sevens Rugby around the nation, something the 2011 squad will be looking to capitalise on and continue as they strive for the same success in the gold jersey.
2010 in a Nutshell –
•25 players used
•10 tournaments participated in (8 x IRB, Oceania Championship and Commonwealth Games)
•9 players signed to Super Rugby contracts for 2011
•4 players picked for 2010 Spring Tour of Hong Kong /Europe
•Third place in IRB World Rankings for 2010
•London Sevens victory
•Sevens Player of the Year – James Stannard