Sevens Stalwart Parahi set for 30th cap in Hong Kong

by staff

Jesse Parahi is not one for personal accolades. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the team-orientated forward had little idea that he would win his 30th World Series cap at the jewel in the World Series crown - the Hong Kong Sevens.

Nicknamed 'The Bull', the 25-year-old from Avoca Beach on the Central Coast joins team-mates Ed Jenkins and Con Foley as the only Australians to have played in 30 World Series tournaments.

"To be honest, I thought I might be up and around that landmark but I didn't realise how close. It's a big milestone for me and I'm just pumped to get out there and play."

For Parahi, who made his debut at the London Sevens in May 2010, Hong Kong is just that little bit different to every other event on the circuit. Indeed, the Hong Kong Sevens this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.

"The atmosphere is great and there is a great vibe. It has a family-orientated feel but there is also the contrast with the South Stand. It can be a bit of a pain warming up in front of the fans down that end of the pitch!"

Tom Lucas, the Queensland schemer who has been recalled to the national squad by Geraint John after being absent for four tournaments, agrees. "It's one of the showcase events of the series. The city stops for the Sevens while the stadium is amazing."

Lucas joins the squad after a series of impressive displays at the recent National Sevens Championships when he played for a talented Queensland side, a tournament that allowed him to showcase the areas of his game that both himself and management felt needed refining.

"The Nationals were good fun and I got a lot out of it. I've just been chipping away on my game to improve myself. The small things like the re-starts, for example. It has been a case of stepping up my game," added Lucas.

Parahi, meanwhile, has targeted a good showing in Hong Kong. "We've been training well and we've had a good week of training. We have a new face in the squad, Brad Wilkin, who has fitted in very well. He's young, fit and a big boy and he'll bring something a bit different to our forward pack. It's an exciting time."

The Qantas Australian Men's side open their Hong Kong Sevens Pool B campaign with a game against Portugal on Friday evening (AEDT), before games with Scotland and New Zealand on Saturday.

All of the action will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS. Check your local listings.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures for Hong Kong on 27-29 March:

Australia v Portugal, Pool B, 9.40pm (AEDT), 27 March

Australia v Scotland, Pool B, 3.40pm (AEDT), 28 March

Australia v New Zealand, Pool B, 8.26pm (AEDT), 28 March