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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Rugby Sevens captain Patrick McCutcheon says he’s determined to give a career-best performance at the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide after revealing the March 19-21 event will be the last time he will compete in the IRB Sevens World Series on home soil.
McCutcheon has been rewarded for a brilliant 2009/10 campaign and becomes the latest star from coach Michael O’Connor’s squad to earn an Investec Bank Super 14 contract.
The Sydney University back rower, who addressed the media at his team’s Captain’s Run at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, said he has penned a two-year deal with the NSW Waratahs and is set to join the at the completion of the Sevens series.
McCutcheon, 22, follows in the footsteps of former Sevens teammates Luke Morahan and Richard Kingi who both won Super contracts with the Queensland Reds after standout performances during the 2008/09 IRB Series.
The pair also won selection on last year’s Qantas Wallabies Spring Tour, joining fellow Sevens graduate James O’Connor who made the leap the season earlier.
McCutcheon credits Rugby Sevens has been an important pathway in his development as a player over the past three years.
“You can’t underestimate the value of the Sevens program,” McCutcheon said.
“You spend a lot of time on the road with the Sevens squad, and certainly your game and body adapt to the fitness requirements of the game.
“I feel I've been able to do adapt to both forms of the game and securing a contract with the Waratahs is a great reward for that.
"Shawn Mackay played Sevens for many years and also made it to the Super 14, so I never lost hope that I'd be able to do the same.
"My short term goal at the moment is to finish the season off strongly with the Sevens team, and in particular we're looking for a really strong performance in Adelaide in front of our home fans.
“We're having our best season in quite a while and knowing I may not get the chance to be back again I'm going to make the most of it.”
Australia achieved their best performance in two years in Las Vegas last month after falling to eventual champions Samoa in the Cup Semi-Finals.
McCutcheon’s side trail fourth-placed England by just four points and a top performance in Adelaide, where Australia achieved their best result last season, will see them leapfrog their fierce rivals on the Series points table.