Sevens players to step up for world series

by staff

Aussie men’s sevens veteran James Stannard says it’s up to the side’s players to continue to perform as the 2015-16 World Series kicks off.

With the ARU still deciding on a permanent head coach for the side, Stannard said the players had to take responsibility to maintain a high standard with the World Series starting next month.

The team had a smooth transition to the tutelage of women’s coach Tim Walsh after Geraint John’s departure in August, with Walsh adding the men to his responsibilities until last weekend’s qualification.

Scott Bowen will take the reins for the opening two World Series rounds.

“It’s been a really good transition with Timmy Walsh coming in - a lot of guys knew him before and it’s been really good,” he said.

“He’s done a great job he’s been under a lot of pressure with two programs and a young family as well so I think it’s been a great transition with him.

“I think Scotty’s going to do a bit as well in the next couple of weeks but the boys...we just take responsibility on ourselves and I guess it’s just up to us to perform.”

Forward Tom Cusack said the side’s results in what is effectively their pre-season had given them confidence ahead of a critical year.

“The first two tournaments of the season in the Central Coast and now the Oceania qualifiers, to win both those tournaments as kind of our pre-season is putting us in good stead for the world series and the lead up to Rio,” he said.

“I think the boys are really in a good position and (have) a good mindset.

“We’re excited for what this year is to hold.

“Now that we have qualified it is a relief but now we can just concentrate on performing this season and having that end goal building up to Rio 2016.”

New interim coach, Scott Bowen, said the players’ character had shone through in their run to Olympic qualification.

“Tim Walsh has come in and cone an outstanding job but full credit to the players who picked themselves up,” he said.

“They were a bit flat when Geraint (John) departed and really applied themselves and knuckled down and it all came together with some really good performances."