Australia ready to rise to the challenge in Glasgow

May 7 • General News, International, IRB World Cup Sevens, Sevens Rugby, World Rugby • 6208 Views • Comments Off on Australia ready to rise to the challenge in Glasgow

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Lewis Holland, James Stannard and Alex Gibbon return in an extended 14-man Australia squad for the Glasgow Sevens.

Australia Sevens coach Geraint John has named an extended 14-man squad for the penultimate round of the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow on 9-10 May.

Alex Gibbon has been recalled to the squad for the first time since the Port Elizabeth round in December, while Lewis Holland and James Stannard return after recovering from muscle injuries that ruled them out of Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Bradley Wilkin, meanwhile, is unavailable for the final two rounds of the season as part of a mutual agreement between the Australian Sevens programme and the Under 20s programme that allows the Queenslander to play in the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship and then the World Rugby U20 Championship in June.

Australia are currently fifth in the series standings – nine points behind England – with two rounds remaining. The top four, along with hosts Brazil, will qualify automatically for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. If Australia finish outside of that they will have to negotiate the Oceania regional qualifying tournament or global repechage event to qualify.

“The camp is in good spirits and we’ve prepared well since returning from Tokyo which has made my final squad particularly difficult to choose,” explained John.

“It’s great to have the experience of James [Stannard] and Lewis [Holland] back in the fold but I’m delighted to welcome Alex Gibbon into the party that will travel to Glasgow.

“Naturally, Alex has been frustrated at his lack of playing time this calendar year but he has shown the right attitude in training and he performed well at the National Championships in March so he has deserved his opportunity.”

Australia lost in the Bowl final in Tokyo and will be looking to bounce back when they face England, France and Russia in Pool A in Glasgow.

“Obviously Tokyo was a disappointment for us, but we can now only affect the future. There’s no doubt we have a tough draw in Glasgow but it’s a challenge we are looking forward to meeting head on.

“England are in good form after winning in Japan last time out, while France will be hungry to continue their rapid improvement. Russia will be joining the series next year and will be eager to show what they can do on the world stage.”

Australia squad (two to be omitted): Cameron Clark, Tom Cusack, Allan Fa’alava’au, Con Foley, Pama Fou, Alex Gibbon, Lewis Holland, Greg Jeloudev, Ed Jenkins (captain), Tom Lucas, Nick Malouf, Sam Myers, Jesse Parahi, James Stannard.

Courtesy of World Rugby

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