Friend makes five changes to Australian squad for Paris 7’s

Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend has made five changes to the squad that has been named for next week’s Paris Sevens.

Forward Jesse Parahi will return to the World Sevens Series arena for the first time in 12 months after returning from a stint in the NRL. Skipper Ed Jenkins and centre Cameron Clark have been recalled after being rested for the last month’s Singapore Sevens.

Teenage winger Henry Hutchison has recovered from a foot problem and will take to the field in Paris while Nick Cummins will win his 10th World Series cap after returning following an ankle injury.

Lewis Holland (foot), Tom Cusack (wrist), Greg Jeloudev (foot) and Henry Speight (cheekbone) have all been ruled out through injury and are likely to return to training in June. Nick Malouf and Tom Lucas (both knee) are both out for the remainder of the World Series.

Meanwhile, Pama Fou has returned to full training after recovering from a shoulder injury and will continue to build fitness in Sydney before likely linking up with the squad ahead of the season finale in London a week later.

“When I look at the squad that I’ve chosen for this Paris I’m excited. We have two genuine outside backs in Henry [Hutchison] and Nick [Cummins] who love to use their pace but are also strong defensively while it is always good to welcome back players of the calibre of Ed Jenkins and Cameron Clark,” Friend said.

“With team selection for the Rio Olympics drawing ever closer, competition for those 12 spots is heating up and I expect to see a real edge to our game in these last two tournaments. I want us to be clinical and I want us to be ruthless. We have a big challenge ahead of us with a tough pool but I’m confident we have the personnel to perform really well.”

Australia has been drawn in Pool C alongside South Africa, England and Brazil and currently sits fourth in the 2015-16 Sevens World Series standings on 115 points – 20 points adrift of third-placed South Africa.

Australian Men’s Sevens squad for Paris Sevens

Henry Hutchison, Tom Kingston, Sam Myers, Josh Holmes, James Stannard, Con Foley, Cameron Clark, Jesse Parahi, Ed Jenkins, Allan Fa’alava’au, Nick Cummins, Pat McCutcheon.

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