The Australian Sevens Men’s squad has been named for the penultimate round of the HSBC World Series with three changes in the line-up heading to Paris.
Returning to the team are Boyd Killingworth and Alex Gibbon while 18-year-old Dylan Pietsch has been brought into the starting twelve having had an opportunity as 13th man in Singapore.
Killingworth missed the last leg due to concussion but has been ruled fit to play in France and Coach Andy Friend could not be happier.
“A massive positive for Boyd Killingworth, he was outstanding in Hong Kong before he had his concussion. Unfortunately he didn’t come right for Singapore but he’s good now so great to have him back in the playing squad,”he said.
Captain Tom Lucas and former captain Ed Jenkins have been omitted due to injuries gained in Singapore.
Lucas has been forced out with a knee problem while Jenkins will undergo shoulder surgery next week following a heavy clash on day two in that last round.
While Coach Andy Friend knows the team will feel the absence of these two senior players, he is feeling confident in the young side which has been impressive in its performances so far this season.
“The loss of Tom Lucas and Ed Jenkins is difficult as they are two very experienced players. But they've been replaced by some more youth which is good (and) a great opportunity for this squad,” he said.
Pietsch is yet another addition to the growing stock of teens which Friend has introduced to the top level this season looking to develop talent and depth in the squad going forward.
“Dylan Pietsch comes into the backline, another 18-year old into the starting 12, so a great experience for him as an up-and-coming player.”
Paris is the first weekend in the final two legs of the World Series with London hosting the championship round.
Australia currently sits in sixth place in the standings, seven points behind the USA which is having a strong finish to the season, having finished in the top four placings in its past four tournaments.
Australia will face Russia, Samoa and Fiji on Day One in Pool D matches with its sights set on another quarter final berth for a shot at a fourth top four finish for the season.
“We played some good Rugby in the last two tournaments but at the end of the day, we still finished third and fourth. We have some quality footballers, and regardless of age, they've shown they have great ability to play good Rugby on the world stage, so we now need to take that into Paris and following that, into London,” said Friend.
A tournament captain will be named when the team settles in Paris.
IN: Boyd Killingworth, Alex Gibbon
OUT: Ed Jenkins, Tom Lucas
Aussie Sevens squad for Paris 7s
13th man - Tom Kingston
Australia vs Russia, Saturday May 13, 6:22pm AEST
Australia vs Samoa, Saturday May 13 9:48pm AEST
Australia vs Fiji, Sunday May 14, 1.14am AEST