Veteran Jesse Parahi has been named the acting captain of the Australian Men’s Sevens team for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Parahi inherits the position from James Stannard who was ruled out of the Games following an off-field incident on Good Friday.
Parahi, who made his Australian Sevens debut in London in 2010, will run out for his 40th cap on the Gold Coast when Australia aims to better the Bronze they secured in Glasgow four years ago.
Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “The last few days have been very tough for the whole squad, but we are relieved that James is back home with his family where he can rest.
“Jesse has accepted the role of captain with great humility. He’s very aware that his opportunity to lead the team has come about due to the misfortunes of both Lewis and James, but this does not diminish his own leadership qualities and standing within the Team.
“He is a man of outstanding character and I know that he will lead this team with great energy at the Commonwealth Games.
“The team has rallied together really well, and we are focused 100 percent on our preparation for the tournament.”
Australian Men’s Sevens Captain Jesse Parahi said: “It’s been a strange feeling to take the role of captaincy in such difficult circumstances for ‘Chucky’ but I am honoured to be given the chance to captain my country.
“For us as a team there’s a real sense that we want to do it for James who would have been playing in his third Commonwealth Games.
“This adversity has bonded us closer together and we’ll rise to the challenge when we run out on the Gold Coast in front of a home crowd.”
Updated Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (in alphabetical order):
Lachlan Anderson*, 13 caps, Eastwood NSW
Timothy Anstee*, 16 caps, Eastwood NSW
Thomas Connor*, 4 caps, Warringah NSW
Boyd Killingworth*, 16 caps, Warringah NSW
Maurice Longbottom*, 4 caps, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team
Thomas Lucas, 23 caps, Sunnybank QLD
Samuel Myers, 32 caps, Norths NSW
Benjamin O’Donnell*, 6 caps, Randwick NSW
Jesse Parahi (c), 39 caps, Norths NSW
John Porch*, 15 caps, Norths NSW
Brandon Quinn*, 6 caps, Gordon NSW
Charlie Taylor*, 11 caps, Manly NSW
*Commonwealth Games debut
** An additional player will be named in the squad at the conclusion of the Hong Kong Sevens.
Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures on the Gold Coast on Saturday 14 April:
Australia v Samoa, Pool B
Australia v Jamaica, Pool B
Australia v England, Pool B
If Australia qualifies from the pool rounds, semi-finals and the Gold and Bronze medal matches will be played on Sunday 15 April.