News Article

Aussie Sevens set to defend home turf

  
Printable Version Printable Version    Recommend Recommend    Email to a friend Email to a friend
  
Share   
  

3/18/2010
By ARU Media Unit


The Australian Rugby Sevens believe the advantage of playing at home will give them an extra edge as they prepare to tackle fierce competition from 15 nations at the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide which kicks off at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

Coach Michael O’Connor’s side are coming off their best result at the IRB Sevens World Series in two years after they recorded an upset victory over Pacific heavyweights Fiji in Las Vegas, but fell to eventual champions Samoa by two-points.

Injuries have forced three changes to the high-flying squad from Las Vegas with Bernard Foley (ankle), Brian Sefanaia (cruciate) and Australia’s leading tryscorer Clinton Sills (hamstring) all ruled out.

Replacements Sam Latunipulu and Ed Stubbs will make their IRB Series debut.

In one of the most competitive Series in recent times, Samoa, after their victory in Las Vegas, have narrowed the gap to leaders New Zealand while Australia (46) can leapfrog fourth-placed England (50) with a solid performance in Adelaide.

O’Connor believes his youngsters are capable of handling the unique demands of a home event.

"I think pressure's a really good thing for these boys and coming off a pretty good result in Las Vegas we're really looking forward to this one," he said.

"It's a great experience for them, to see whether they can step up to the mark or not and benchmark themselves against the best in the world."

Australia have enjoyed playing at Adelaide Oval and last year finished top of their pool and won their way through to the Plate Final against England where they were defeated 24-19.

Sevens powerhouse South Africa took out the Adelaide tournament for the second consecutive year in 2009, after beating crowd favourites Kenya 26-7 in the Cup Final.  Fiji claimed the first Adelaide Sevens title in 2007.

Australia kickoff of their 2010 Adelaide Sevens campaign against Niue, a tiny nation from the Pacific Islands, on Friday night in their opening Pool D match, before matches against the US and arch-rivals England on Saturday.

Recently-awarded Olympic status will amplify the carnival and colour of the Adelaide Sevens after the IOC voted to include the shortened version of the game into the roster from 2016.

Australian Sevens:  Patrick McCutcheon (capt), James Stannard, Eddie Quirk, Liam Gill, Jacob Taylor, Brackin Karauria-Henry, Kimami Sitauti, Robbie Coleman, Tala Grey, Dominic Shipperely, Sam Latunipulu, Ed Stubbs. Coach: Michael O’Connor

 

Australian Sevens program inspired by AOC's IGNITE session
Players and staff from the Australian Sevens program gathered at Sydney Olympic Park last week as part of the Australian Olympic's Committee to build a supportive framework around the 2016 Australian Olympic Team. Read full article...
John pays tribute to departing trio
Australian Director Rugby Sevens Geraint John has heaped praise on three members of his backroom staff that have departed the Sevens program. Read full article...
Taliauli joins ACT Brumbies
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Geraint John has agreed to release utility Lausii Taliauli from the remainder of his contract to join Super Rugby franchise ACT Brumbies. Read full article...