Holland timing Olympic run to perfection

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Lewis Holland missed a chance to be a part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but if his performance at the Sydney 7s is an indicator, he’s doing everything he can to ensure his spot for Rio.

A hamstring injury saw him miss out on selection for Glasgow but the 23-year-old has worked his way back into the starting Australians Sevens team.

He picked the perfect time to find his best form as well, clearly Australia’s best through the inaugural Sydney 7s tournament.

An outside pass away from a hat-trick on day one, Holland found the line in Australia’s Cup semi-final win over South Africa as well.

A long, hopeful pass set up Sam Myers for a crucial try in the Cup final against New Zealand.

HIs defence was just as eye catching, stopping opponents in their tracks across the weekend.

Former Australian Sevens coach Mick O’Connor commented that this was the best that he had seen Holland play but the playmaker deflected praise to his teammates.

“I thought I played alright,” he said.

“There’s seven people out there and if you’re doing your job and they’re doing their job it makes it pretty easy.

“We haven’t played our best footy yet and we’re trying to work towards that so we’ve just got to keep putting money in the bank when we go back to training, 

“(We want to be) doing all the little things right so when the key moments come in these final games we really put the nail on the head and put it to bed.”

Lewis Holland was one of Australia's best at the Sydney 7s. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

At 183cm and 89kg, Holland in many ways encapsulates the hard-working, nuggety Australian side.

Their trademark character combined with some improved execution to produce their best result of the season and a massive confidence booster, Holland said.

“We’re obviously not the biggest, or the most skilful team here and we don’t really have the hot steppers.

“Collectively we just have to work hard ,we know that and it’s how we execute game plans between different teams.

“We’re not the biggest team so we need to work hard in the physical contact battle and in ball placement  - quick ball for us is key. “

Holland could be sharing his Olympic experience with Aussie women’s Sevens star and girlfriend Charlotte Caslick.

Caslick sealed Australia’s series win in the women’s three-match series against Ireland on the weekend and Holland found it easier to spruik her talents than his own.

“She always plays well. She’s probably got better feet than me” he said.

Caslick has seen the difficulties Holland has overcome and said she was proud to see him back at his peak

“He’s playing awesome and it’s good to see him getting his confidence back after his injuries he’s had,” she said.

“He looks like he’s getting more confident every single game and it’s good to see.

“They need someone like him making a difference in the midfield.”