Australian head coach names unchanged squad for Tokyo Sevens

by staff

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Geraint John has named an unchanged 13-man squad for the Japan Sevens in Tokyo next weekend (4-5 April).

All selected players came through medicals on Monday morning following a gruelling Hong Kong Sevens tournament, meaning in-form forward Nick Malouf is set to win his 20th Sevens World Series cap at the 27,000-capacity Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground.

Australia has been handed an identical pool to the one they were drawn in Hong Kong, with games against Portugal, Scotland and New Zealand as they strive for crucial World Series points in the race for automatic Olympic qualification for Rio 2016.

Head Coach Geraint John said: "I have decided to go with the same players that performed exceptionally well in Hong Kong. Tom Cusack will also travel and we will announce our final squad later in the week. We had a good review following the tournament in Hong Kong and looked closely at areas where we could improve.

"Day One and Two in the pool stages were tough in Hong Kong and I am expecting the same again in Tokyo. There are no easy games in Sevens and anything can happen on the day. You only have to look at Portugal's result against New Zealand (a 24-24 draw) in Hong Kong, for example, to understand they are a quality side with plenty of strike power. Scotland also improved as the tournament went on last weekend and played very well on Day Three to win the Bowl competition."

On injuries within the Men's Sevens program, John added: "I want to give Lewis [Holland] and James [Stannard] more time to recover - it's important we look at the bigger picture and get them right to put them in a strong position for selection come the Glasgow leg in May."

Australia currently sit fourth in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series, six points clear of England with three rounds of the season remaining. The top four countries - along with host nation Brazil - will qualify automatically for the Olympics.

All of the action from Tokyo will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 5 from 11.50am on Saturday, and FOX SPORTS 2 from 10.45am on Sunday.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures for Tokyo, Japan, 4-5 April:

Australia v Portugal, Pool B, 1.06pm (AEDT), 4 April

Australia v Scotland, Pool B, 4.24pm (AEDT), 4 April

Australia v New Zealand, Pool B, 8.14pm (AEDT), 4 April

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in Tokyo (one to be omitted):

Cameron Clark. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

Tom Cusack. Club: Canberra Royals, ACT. Hometown: Canberra, ACT

Allan Fa'alava'au. Club: Endeavour Hills, VIC. Hometown: Melbourne, VIC

Con Foley. Club: University of Queensland, QLD. Hometown: Fairfield, QLD

Pama Fou. Club: Souths, QLD. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD

Greg Jeloudev. Club: Sydney University. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

Ed Jenkins. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW

Tom Lucas. Club: Sunnybank, QLD. Born: Rockhampton, QLD

Nick Malouf. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Robertson, QLD

Sam Myers. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Grenfell, NSW

Jesse Parahi. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Avoca Beach, NSW

Shannon Walker. Club: East’s, QLD. Hometown: Kyogle, NSW

Bradley Wilkin. Club: East’s Tigers, QLD. Hometown: Wellington Point, QLD