McGregor to debut as Australians name squads for Cape Town

Wed, Dec 6, 2023, 5:57 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
James McGregor will debut for the Aussie 7s in Cape Town. Photo: @Aussie7s/IG
James McGregor will debut for the Aussie 7s in Cape Town. Photo: @Aussie7s/IG

Australia Men's coach John Manenti has named teenage James McGregor for his debut at the Cape Town SVNS.

McGregor comes in for Matt Gonzalez, who suffered a rib injury in Dubai as the team finished seventh.

Watch every round of the HSBC SVNS Series exclusive, ad-free and live on Stan Sport. 

The 19-year-old played for the Australia U18s side last year, joining the Sevens program as a development player.

"Dubai was a tough start and we felt we let ourselves down on a few fronts and didn’t play to our standards," Manenti said in a statement. “Cape Town is a great opportunity for us to show what we stand for and to be better

“As Matt Gonzalez heads home due to an unfortunate injury, we’ve called in young James (Jimmy) McGregor into the squad for a potential debut. Having toured with us to the Stellenbosch Academy and Oceania Sevens tournament, Jimmy has already immersed himself in the squad and is prepared to perform. 

“Every pool is tough, and with NZ, Samoa and Canada in ours, we’re looking forward to the challenge.” 

Unsurprisingly, Women's coach Tim Walsh has named an unchanged line-up for this weekend after their triumph in Dubai.

The Dubai title was their fifth in a row at the UAE event and their first in 2023.

“The challenge this week is to continue where we finished in Dubai. Day 2 in Dubai was one of the best performances I have seen from this team," Walsh believes.

“We beat the next best three teams in the world in true Australian Women Sevens style. We played ruthlessly and adapted to each opposition accordingly - it was a very polished performance filled with desire and skill. 

“We are under no illusion that Cape Town won’t be a challenge, and we are embracing our preparation and immersing ourselves in our work. 

“The launch of the new and reinvigorated series has been very well received by the team and we are immensely thankful for the support back home in Australia. The future of this team is bright, and we cannot wait to get stuck into things in Cape Town.”

Australia will face Fiji, Spain, and Japan in Pool A of the women’s draw, with the men set to take on a formidable pool including Samoa, Canada, and defending World Series champions New Zealand in Pool C. 

Every round of the HSBC SVNS series will be shown exclusive, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport. 

Australia Women’s Sevens team for Cape Town SVNS: 

2. Sharni Smale 

3. Faith Nathan 

4. Dominique Du Toit 

5. Teagan Levi 

6. Madison Ashby 

7. Charlotte Caslick (c) 

8. Kaitlin Shave

10. Bella Nasser

11. Demi Hayes

12. Maddison Levi

22. Bienne Terita

55. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea

65. Sariah Paki

Australia Men’s Sevens team for Cape Town SVNS: 

2. Ben Dowling 

3. Henry Palmer 

4. Dietrich Roache 

5. Tim Clements 

7. Josh Turner

8. Dally Bird

10. Nick Malouf (c)

11. Maurice Longbottom

12. Nathan Lawson

13. Ben Dalton

14. James Turner

15. James McGregor*

25. Hayden Sargeant

*Denotes potential debut. 

Australian Sevens Cape Town 2023 Schedule

*All times AEDT


Saturday, December 9

Australia Women v Spain Women, 6:22 pm 

Australia Women v Japan Women, 8:44 pm

Sunday, December 10

Australia Women v Fiji Women, 1:00 am


Saturday, December 9

Australia Men v Samoa Men, 7:06 pm

Australia Men v New Zealand Men, 9:50 pm

Sunday, December 10

Australia Men v Canada Men, 2:28 am

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