Young guns must fill void: Stannard

Mens - Hamilton
by Sam Phillips

Three men out, three men up.

It's that simple in the eyes of stand-in Aussie Sevens skipper James Stannard, who will lead a team void of three players that starred in his side's triumphant Sydney 7s run.

Regular captain Lewis Holland, big ball carrier Jesse Parahi and breakdown tyro Boyd Killingworth are all unavailable this weekend and that means Tom Lucas, Dylan Pietsch and Sam Croke must step up to fill the sizeable holes left by that trio.

"It means there is opportunity for new guys to have a crack," Stannard said.

"Those boys are back home, pretty disappointed I would say, not being able to back up after a good win.

"But that creates opportunities for these younger blokes to show what they've got and show Friendy what they've got.

"They know our calls, they know what we are about and if they just come and bring their assets to the game, their weapons, we'll be fine."

Holland was one of, if not the most, influential player in the Australian ranks all weekend and Stannard looked to two rising stars to fill that void.

"Lewi was inspirational last week, he was great," Stannard said.

"Especially coming back from a long haul injury - but it's time for these to guys to step up.

"(Maurice Longbottom) adds some excitement, Tommy Lucas has got some excitement as well with that left step and he knows the game well.

"They will be instrumental."

Parahi played big minutes in big games on finals day and Stannard looked to Tom Connor, who made his debut in Sydney, to provide a presence at the breakdown.

"I think TC will have to step up this week - he's very good around the field and he's really good over the ball as well," Stannard said.

"There will be a lot of responsibility on him over the pill this week so we can score some tries."

The Hamilton Sevens kick off on Saturday morning AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


Australian Hamilton 7s pool matches

10:58am AEDT - Australia vs Spain

2:02pm AEDT - Australia vs Wales

5:50pm AEDT - Australia vs Fiji