Hutchison in mix for World Cup return

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Aussie men’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh hopes to have the services of Rio Olympian Henry Hutchison for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Hutchison played with the Sevens for two seasons, kicking off in 2015-16, before signing a two-year deal with the Rebels in Super Rugby.

The 21-year-old hasn’t been able to find game time in Melbourne sitting behind a host of Test wingers and it is believed he has been released by the franchise, opening the door for a Sevens return.

Hutchison has been training with the team in recent days, and Walsh said he’d be a welcome inclusion in the World Cup squad, with the team leaving for San Francisco on July 14.

“Hutch at the moment looks like he's very interested in Sevens, so hopefully you can watch this space and see what happens there,” he said.

“(We’re) certainly interested in him.

Henry Hutchison is in contention for a World Cup berth. Photo: Cambridge“Hopefully we can get things sorted and he (comes into) the Sevens fold, but we've got a few bridges to cross before that.”

“He's rookie of the year, he's played a lot of caps and he certainly knows his way to the try line and has a variety of different skill.

“You look at Sevens players being a jack of all trades - they're a jack of all trades and a master of some.

“Hutch certainly ticks a lot of boxes in that category and so master of some and he can be world-class in a few as well.”

His Super Rugby time would also have added to his value, Walsh said.

“As a person he's grown but it's still pretty early,” he said.

“The experience that he'd probably get out of being in a Super club in amongst world-class players who have been veterans for years in the international scene, he would've picked up a lot of valuable stuff there with being ruthless, professional and just that detail, which is great.

“So, I think he's probably a more rounded player and that maturity, with time but also just (from) being in a different environment.”

Hutchison isn’t the only familiar face back in the fold, with Nick Malouf back from England, after eschewing the option of staying in XVs to return to the Aussie Sevens setup.

Malouf was not slated to return until his contract starts in September, but he has already thrown himself into full training.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens kicks off on July 20, running until July 22 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.