Australian skipper Lewis Holland, ex-Force speedster Rod Davies and Wallaby flanker Sean McMahon have been added to the Australian men’s sevens team to play in Cape Town this weekend.
McMahon’s return to the Aussie team after a five-year absence has captured headlines but Holland’s arrival in South Africa after being rested for the first leg in Dubai will be a decisive boost for Australia and their title hopes.
The Australian men’s team hasn’t won a round of the World Series since the Sydney Sevens in January, 2018.
Holland will be tasked with running the Aussie attack given Maurice Longbottom has been rotated out under an Olympic year workload plan, and returned home to Sydney.
Davies will return to the Australian squad for only his second World Series tournament, after impressing in Canada last year before injuring an ankle. He will also add more blistering speed to a squad already containing Trae Williams.
Despite not playing since 2014, McMahon comes back into the squad with 20 caps and as the third-most experienced player, behind Holland and Henry Hutchison.
“Bringing Lewis, Sean and Rod into the squad will freshen us up in a tough second round where we have to back up quickly,” Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said.
“We want to be a team that is constantly cracking that top four and we were disappointed to miss out last week.
“Ireland, Kenya and Samoa will bring three different styles of Sevens Rugby from all over the world, so it’s up to us to make sure we control how we want to play and play to our strengths.”
Australia's mens team haven’t made the semi-finals in the South Africa Sevens since 2014.
Australian Men's Sevens squad
1. Joe Pincus (vc), Easts (Sydney), 7 caps
2. Jeral Skelton, Brothers, 15 caps
3. Henry Hutchison, Randwick, 27 caps
4. Simon Kennewell, Randwick, 20 caps
5. Jesse Parahi, 45 caps
6. Sean McMahon, 20 caps, Suntory
7. Lewis Holland, Queanbeyan, 47 caps
8. Josh Coward, Souths (Melbourne), 6 caps
9. Josh Turner, Manly, 1 cap
10. Lachlan Miller, Randwick, 7 caps
11. Trae Williams, 1 cap
12. Rod Davies, 1 cap
13th, Matthew Hood, Sydney University, 6 caps
Saturday December 14
All times AEDT.
Australia vs Ireland, 1:37am
Australia vs Kenya, 7.57pm
Sunday December 15
Australia vs Samoa, 2:09am