“I’m all ears.”
That was Aussie Sevens’ captain Lewis Holland’s message for injured teammate Simon Kennewell, after the youngster suffered a season-ending injury just three days out from the 2018 Sydney 7s.
Holland knows better than most the pain of injury layoffs - he missed the 2016-17 season with an achilles injury and also suffered a hamstring injury midway through the 2016 Olympic campaign.
Kennewell’s knee gave way in a training session on Tuesday afternoon on the eve of the Sydney tournament, with a ruptured ACL confirmed on Wednesday.
Holland said he had spoken to Kennewell and offered any help he could early in the piece, as the 21-year-old comes to terms with missing the rest of the series, a season that includes the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup.
“I sent him a message last night saying, ‘I'm all ears,’ if he wants to have a chat, I've got plenty of time for him, he's a good mate of mine,” he said.
“So, no doubt throughout the course of the injury and his rehab we'll sit down there and have a few bites to eat and just talk about just general stuff in life and his little goals that he can achieve while he's not on the field.”
News of Kennewell’s injury threw a spanner into his season but also that of the Aussie men, but Holland said they couldn’t let the setback affect them
“Yeah we just roll on, take game by game, training by training and whatever happens we just adapt,” he said.
“We have 13 because of just how brutal it can get and how many you can lose game-to-game, week-to-week.
“We'll let ‘Simo’ build up inside us and hopefully we put on a good performance this weekend.”
The Aussie men have made the final four in the past two Sydney tournaments and Holland said they may have the weather on their side in the third iteration this weekend.
“I think we're ahead of the likes of England and that who are over there kicking snow,” he said.
“We're kicking dust, so we've definitely got a little bit of an uphill advantage because of the weather and the climate we've been training in so hopefully that pays later down the track.”
Australia takes on Scotland, Canada and the USA in Pool D in the 2018 Sydney 7s.
The 2018 Sydney 7s kicks off on Friday January 26, running until Sunday January 28. Buy tickets here.