O'Donnell, Anderson sign on until 2020

by Sam Phillips

The future of the Australian Men's Sevens side is in very good hands, with stars Ben O'Donnell and Lachie Anderson putting pen to paper on deals that will run through until the end of 2020.

The deal caps a breakout year for O'Donnell, who has been named the player of the tournament at three of the eight World Series legs this season.

The 22-year-old only made his World Series debut in Dubai last year and it's understood he took calls from each of the four Australian Super Rugby clubs, such is the enormity of the impact he's had on field.

But he has knocked back those offers to stay in Sevens and this deal will take him through to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

"It’s a really exciting time around the group," O'Donnell said.Ben O"Falling just short in Singapore really hurt but it only makes you hungrier as a group to get back out there and lift the Cup next time."

"It’s been a surprising debut year for me and I’m over the moon to be signing through until after the Tokyo Olympics and thrilled to remain part of a seriously special group of blokes.

"We have a lot of goals before then though and I know this group has what it takes to achieve them,"

Like O'Donnell, Anderson has quickly become an integral part of the Australian setup, having notched 14 caps since his World Series debut in Sydney last year.

Fresh off a second place finish in his debut tournament as coach, Tim Walsh urged the pair to set the tone for the remainder of the squad as world class players.Lachie Anderson has signed on until the end of 2020. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"Lachie and Ben have been consistently performing and improving their game this season," Walsh said.

"They know they have to keep working hard though as there’s still room to grow and develop into world class Sevens players.

"I’m confident these two men are the first of many to either re-sign with the Sevens program or return to the Australian set-up.

"We have a world class program coupled with massive career opportunities and players past, present and future are seeking contracts to be part of Rugby Australia’s Sevens program.

"This in turn, creates fierce competition and a sustainable platform for future for success."