In form Aussie 7’s make changes ahead of Hong Kong

Team Men

Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend has made two changes ahead of next weekend’s Hong Kong Sevens.

Skipper Ed Jenkins and star centre Cameron Clark return after being rested for the last round in Vancouver, while Con Foley is set to become just the second Australian to win 40 World Series caps when he takes to the field at the 40,000-capacity Hong Kong Stadium next weekend.

Australia has a raft of stars unavailable for selection for the seventh leg of the 2015-16 season with Tom Cusack (wrist), Pama Fou (shoulder), Nick Malouf (knee), Tom Lucas (knee), Simon Kennewell (ankle), Pat McCutcheon (hamstring), Greg Jeloudev (foot) and Henry Speight (eye) all missing out.

The in-form Australians have drawn a testing Pool C alongside Cape Town finalists Argentina, the USA and Portugal. Should the Australians qualify for at least the Cup Semi-Final stage in Hong Kong it will be the first time that they have reached the last four in four straight tournaments since 2001.

“Hong Kong represents the perfect opportunity to continue the momentum we have been slowly building this season. We’re on a good run but it’s important we remain clinical in everything we do in both attack and defence,” Friend said.

“We are building a large pool of quality players that I believe will serve us well for the remainder of the season which will create huge competition for places come the Olympics and beyond. We do, however, have plenty of hard work on our hands before we even begin to think about Rio.

“We have drawn a pool of teams in Hong Kong that will demand our respect. Argentina have already played in one Cup Final this season while the USA can beat anyone on their day as they have proved against New Zealand on more than one occasion this season. Portugal are facing a fight to retain their World Series status next season so will come out hungry and looking to turn us over.”

Australia currently sits fourth in the 2015-16 HSBC World Sevens Series standings, 14 points adrift of third placed New Zealand and ahead of the USA in fifth by the same margin.

Australian squad for Hong Kong Sevens

Henry Hutchison, Tom Kingston, Sam Myers,  Lewis Holland, James Stannard, Con Foley, Cameron Clark, Stephan Van Der Walt,  Ed Jenkins, Allan Fa’alava’au, John Porch, Boyd Killingworth.