Stannard to skipper Sevens in Hamilton

Mens - Hamilton
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

James Stannard will captain the Aussie men in Hamilton, with Lewis Holland ruled out as they prepare to back up their Sydney 7s win.

Holland suffered a cork in Australia's Cup-winning campaign in Sydney, forcing him out of the New Zealand leg, with Stannard stepping into the role for the weekend.

Coach Andy Friend has made three changes to the squad overall, with Boyd Killingworth (hamstring) injured and Jesse Parahi has been left at home, after playing in both Darwin and Sydney in consecutive weekends.

The changes open the door for Randwick's Sam Croke to make his World Series debut with the team in New Zealand, while youngster Dylan Pietsch will also have the chance to add to his caps in Hamilton.

The Aussies got ff to a perfect start in Singapore. Photo: Getty ImagesTom Lucas, who was 13th man in Sydney but played the final four matches after Killingworth's injury, has also been elevated to the main squad for the fourth World Series leg.

Friend said his side's greatest test would come trying to back up their first Cup title in six years.

“I was exceptionally proud of the performance in Sydney. We had marked it as a key tournament and all the boys aimed up and delivered on the big stage.

"Now it's about backing that up, not just this week but on a consistent basis.

"It's disappointing for Lewy, Boyd and Jesse to miss the Hamilton leg but it's also a great opportunity for some of our new inclusions to stake their claim.

"Tom (Lucas) is one of our leaders and has been in the program for five years now. I have no doubt that he'll rise to the occasion and take on more playmaking responsibility in the absence of Lewis.

"Sam (Croke) has been working really hard for his opportunity and I know he will seize this opportunity. We saw a bit of Dylan (Pietsch) last year - he's another one of our young players with enormous potential. He has already shown that he can mix it on the World Series so I'm excited to see him get out there again." 


Australian Men's Sevens team for Hamilton

1. Charlie Taylor, 8 caps, Manly NSW

2. Tom Connor, 1 cap, Warringah NSW, w

3. Sam Myers, 31 caps, Norths (Sydney)

4. Tom Lucas, 20 caps, Sunnybank QLD

5. James Stannard (c), 44 caps, Souths (Brisbane)

6. John Porch, 12 caps, Norths (Sydney)

7. Tim Anstee, 13 caps, Eastwood NSW

8. Sam Croke*, Randwick NSW

9. Dylan Pietsch, 5 caps, Randwick NSW

10. Ben O’Donnell, 3 caps, Randwick NSW

11. Maurice Longbottom, 3 caps, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team

12. Lachie Anderson, 10 caps, Eastwood NSW

13th man. Matt Hood, 2 caps, Sydney University NSW