Parahi ready to pester opponents in Sydney return

Mens - Sydney
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

If Jesse Parahi is annoying his Sydney 7s opponents at the breakdown this weekend then the returning forward is doing his job for the Aussie Sevens.

Parahi missed the Hamilton leg of the series with a hip flexor injury and will come into the 12 for Sydney along with Michael Wells while Sam Myers and Brandon Quinn drop out of the starting 12. 

Ben O'Donnell has shaken off a knee complaint that ended his Hamilton tournament early to be named in the 12, a boost for the Aussies.

Parahi and Wells add some defensive grunt to the team for the clash and Parahi said he was ready to make an impact on his return.

"I'll just focus on my game this weekend," he said.

"That's generally being a bit of a prick at the breakdown and annoying blokes there and then also just running hard and making my tackles so I'll be aiming to do that this weekend."

Jesse Parahi will return to the men's Sevens fold in Sydney. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyCoach Tim Walsh said Parahi's experience would be a handy addition for the team after some inconsistent outings.

"He's an experienced player, adds a real point of difference in so many different areas but particularly that ball-carrying and ruck areas," he said.

"He was bouncing around there today so he's really looking forward to getting out there and playing."

Walsh said he had some early worries about O'Donnell but was confident his rising star was fit for the tournament.

"Had a concern on BOD but we're not going to pick anyone that's not 100 per cent and he's come through really well so he's a quick healer but he's managed himself well and looked after himself," he said.

Walsh has rewarded Hamilton debutant Josh Coward with a second straight start in Sydney after an impressive outing last weekend.

The defending Sydney champions finished sixth in Hamilton, putting them sixth on the overall World Series standings and they will be looking to rectify that with the to four teams at the end of the World Series automatically qualifying for the Olympics.

Australia's men will have a tough challenge to start their campaign, facing Argentina, Tonga and South Africa in their pool on Saturday.

The Sydney 7s kicks off at Spotless Stadium on Friday February 1, running until Sunday February 3. Buy tickets here.

TEAM

IN: Jesse Parahi, Michael Wells (13th man in Hamilton)

OUT: Sam Myers, Brandon Quinn (13th)

Aussie men's team for Sydney 7s

1. Henry Hutchison, Randwick, 19 caps

2. Simon Kennewell, Randwick, 12 caps

3. Michael Wells, Norths (Sydney), 4 caps

4. Lewis Holland (c), Queanbeyan, 41 caps 

5. Ben O’Donnell, Randwick, 12 caps

6. John Porch, Norths (Sydney), 20 caps

7. Jeral Skelton, Brothers, 7 caps

8. Jesse Parahi, Norths (Sydney), 47 caps

9. Josh Coward, Sunnybank, 1 cap

10. Nick Malouf, University of Queensland, 25 caps

11. Maurice Longbottom, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, 9 caps

12. Lachie Anderson, Eastwood, 19 caps

13th Brandon Quinn, Gordon, 10 caps