Local star included in Singapore Sevens squad

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Australian Men’s Sevens have thrown some new blood into the mix for their trip to the Singapore Sevens.

Off the back of four straight Cup semi-finals berths for the first time since 2001, Andy Friend has opted to change things up.

Veteran Pat McCutcheon returns to the squad for the Singapore tournament, while relative Sevens rookies Sam Figg and Josh Holmes come in.

Holmes is the freshest face of all, returning to the Sevens squad after a nine-year absence, having starred on the local  Sevens circuit for the Warringah rats.

The Sydney halfback has been training with the squad for the past month and will travel with the side to Singapore.

Friend was always going to need to change up the squad, with Lewis Holland (foot) and Nick Cummins (ankle) adding to the injury list.

The Aussies have 10 players on the casualty list heading into the back end of the season, with Pama Fou (shoulder), Nick Malouf (knee), Tom Lucas (knee), Tom Cusack (wrist), Henry Speight (eye), Greg Jeloudev (foot), Simon Kennewell (ankle) and Henry Hutchison (foot) all unavailable.

Most of those will be ready to compete for an Olympic spot but it leaves Friend with a limited group to pick from.

Friend said another final four berth wouldn’t satisfy his side, with their Cup drought extending back to 2012.

"I think we have chosen a squad that has plenty to prove,” he said.

“Sam [Figg] hasn't played too much football since Wellington and Josh Holmes has been a form player on the local circuit for quite a while now.

"We're getting used to making Cup Semi Finals now but we're a hungry and ambitious group and we want more than that."

Australia will face off against Argentina, Japan and Wales in the Singapore pool stages.

The squad will be trimmed to 12 players for the tournament, starting on Saturday.

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens fixtures in Singapore

Australia v Argentina, Pool D, 1.28pm AEST

Australia v Japan, Pool D, 4.49pm AEST

Australia v Wales, Pool D, 8.42pm AEST

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the Singapore Sevens 

Cameron Clark. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW

Sam Figg. Club: Randwick, NSW

Allan Fa’alava’au. Club: Endeavour Hills, VIC

Con Foley. Club: University of Queensland

Josh Holmes. Club: Warringah Rats, NSW

Boyd Killingworth. Club: Warringah Rats, NSW

Tom Kingston. Club: Sydney University, NSW

Pat McCutcheon. Club: Sydney University

Sam Myers. Club: Northern Suburbs

John Porch. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW

James Stannard. Club: Souths, QLD

Stephan Van der Walt. Club: Souths, QLD

Frank Winterstein