Wilkin set for Sevens World Series debut in Hong Kong

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Former Queensland Reds Elite Development flanker Brad Wilkin is set for his World Series debut after being named in Geraint John's Qantas Australian Men's Sevens squad for the iconic Hong Kong tournament next weekend (27-29 March).

The 19-year-old Wilkin was named Player of the Tournament at the recent National Sevens Championship in Sydney and has impressed management since his transition from the XV man game.

Tom Lucas and Shannon Walker have also been included in the extended 13-man squad that will travel to Hong Kong, with Lucas the beneficiary of his form at the National Sevens Championships while playing for Queensland Red earlier this month.

James Stannard (hamstring) and Lewis Holland are unavailable for selection through injury.

Head Coach Geraint John said: "Brad [Wilkin] has been knocking on the door for selection ever since he joined the Sevens program. I have been impressed with how he has not only conducted himself on the training pitch but off it too. Brad is an understated character but make no mistake, he has a skillset and edge that I feel will add a lot to the squad.

"Hong Kong is my favourite tournament on the circuit - it's a packed house, a cracking atmosphere with plenty of quality Rugby Sevens on view. I'm told quite often that Australia hasn't won a tournament in Hong Kong for a fair few years - however, we as a group can't control the past and only the future. We will be playing some of the best sides in the world and that is a challenge we are looking forward to meeting head on."

Australia has been drawn in Pool B alongside Portugal, Scotland and New Zealand at the Hong Kong Stadium with crucial World Series points on offer.

With four rounds of the season left, Australia sits fourth in the overall standings just three points clear of England. Only the top four countries come May will qualify automatically for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The action from Hong Kong will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS.

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

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong (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