Australian Sevens outside back Pama Fou has been ruled out of contention for Rio 2016 Olympic selection after rupturing his ACL.
The 25-year-old picked up the injury in a freak accident at home on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to be out of action for up to nine months.
Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We’re all devastated for Pama. Clearly he is shattered himself and it is a bitter blow after the hard work he had put in during rehab following his shoulder injury.
“Pama is a hugely popular player within the dressing room and, as a program, we’ll be doing everything we can to support him.
“What with Henry’s [Speight] knee on Tuesday, and now Pama, it’s fair to say it’s not been the best of weeks on the injury front but this now provides a new opportunity for a champion to emerge – and we have a group of players willing to put their hand up to be that champion.”
In a timely boost for the Australian Men’s Sevens program, playmaker Lewis Holland will return to full training next week after recovering from an ankle injury while Nick Malouf (knee) and Tom Cusack (wrist) both came through trial matches against an Australian Development side unscathed earlier this week following lengthy lay-offs.
Friend will take 16 players to Darwin for a week-long training camp next Friday as preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics gather pace.