Williams returns as Aussies look to defend London crown

Fri, May 19, 2023, 3:58 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Aussie 7s are London 7s champions after taking out an epic final in London.

Australia Sevens coach John Manenti has confirmed his side for the final event of the 2022-23 HSBC World Series in London on May 20-21.

Manenti will be without breakout star Darby Lancaster, who suffered a concussion in Toulouse.

Catch all the action of the World Series LIVE on Kayo and BEIN Sports

He will be replaced by speedster Trae Williams, with Nick Malouf retaining the captaincy.

"London 7s is a great tournament that has nice memories for us," Manenti said. 

"We need to focus on playing how we've prepared, stick to our processes and not get distracted by outcomes.

"We've drawn a really tough pool - with the new format of 12 teams, every game will be heavily contested.

"We have made one change to the squad, as Darby Lancaster has had to sit out due to last week's concussion, and we have brought Trae Williams into the squad."

The Aussies currently hold onto fifth on the World Series ladder with one event remaining, which serves as one of the four automatic qualification spots for the Olympics, with third-place France already qualified

It puts John Manenti’s side in a prime position, with their spot secured if they manage to finish fifth in London.

The defending champions will open their campaign against Spain (May 20, 6:39 pm) before facing the Samoans (9:47 pm) and France (May 21, 1:30 am)

"We're excited for the last tournament of the year this weekend and the challenge that lies ahead," said captain Nick Malouf. 

"Although this will ultimately determine the automatic qualification spots for the Olympics, we've been trying to focus more on our performances against the teams in our pool, and let the results play out.

"After some great performances in Toulouse, we're looking forward to playing in front of a packed crowd in Twickenham."

The matches will be broadcasted live and on-demand via BeIN Sports and Kayo Sports

Australian Sevens Squad for London

Nick Malouf (c)

Dally Bird

Tim Clements

Matt Gonzalez

Nathan Lawson

Maurice Longbottom

Kye Oates

Henry Paterson

Dietrich Roache

Hayden Sargeant

James Turner

Josh Turner

Trae Williams

Ayden Ekanayake* (14th player)

Australian Sevens London Schedule

*All times AEST

Saturday, May 20

Australia Men v Spain Men, 6:39 pm 

Australia Men v Samoa Men, 9:47 pm

Sunday May 21

Australia Men v France Men, 1:30 am

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