Aussies eager to emulate Sydney success

Commonwealth Games - Men
by Sam Phillips

The Australian Men's Sevens brains trust are hoping to repeat the Sydney 7s formula on the Gold Coast, as preparations for the Commonwealth Games hit top gear.

Australia ended a six year World Series drought in claiming their home tournament in January in what was a triumphant weekend for Sevens on the whole.

A third place finish in Hamilton followed but the Australians haven't been back to the podium since, falling to sixth in both Vancouver and Las Vegas.

Injuries have hurt the squad in the two most recent tournaments but coach Andy Friend has named a near full strength squad that will strive to emulate the success achieved in Sydney.

"The boys that have been named are the strongest we have and it's the team that played in Sydney," captain Lewis Holland said.Lewi Holland will lead the Australians at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"We're looking to go all the way."

Home advantage has been crucial throughout the World Series this season, with Australia's win in Sydney followed by USA's run to the title in Las Vegas.

Holland hopes that will hold true on the Gold Coast next month, too.

"I don't know what it is is - maybe a bit more desire in the belly or a little bit of extra effort but there's always an advantage when you get to play in front of your family and friends," he said.

"We will use everything we can around that to get the result we are after."Ben O'Donnell will play a critical role in Australia's Commonwealth Games campaign. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyHolland's coach, Andy Friend, said the simple things would be imperative to repeating the Sydney success.

"I think the most important thing in Sydney was that we had the football and controlled the football," Friend said.

"Defensively we stuck to our system.

"It's sounds so simple but the bottom line is we are human beings and we make errors.

"In Sydney we had a real idea of what we wanted to achieve, we had friends and family in the crowd, too, which added an incentive to perform for them and it clicked for us.

"Hopefully we can emulate all of that and do the same on the Gold Coast."

Australia's Sevens campaign at Commonwealth Games kicks off on April 13 at Robina Stadium. Buy tickets here.