New look Australian squad named for London 7s
Australian Men’s Sevens excitement machine Pama Fou will make his return to the World Series after being named in Andy Friend’s squad for the London Sevens this weekend.
Twenty-five year old Fou is one of six changes for the two-day tournament at Twickenham with Allan Fa’alava’au, Stephan van der Walt, Sam Figg, Frank Winterstein and John Porch all linking up with the squad in England.
Tom Lucas (knee), Nick Malouf (knee), Lewis Holland (ankle), Greg Jeloudev (foot), Tom Cusack (wrist) and Henry Speight (cheekbone) were not considered due to injury while Ed Jenkins, Cam Clark, Con Foley, James Stannard and Sam Myers are all rested.
In Jenkins’ absence, Pat McCutcheon will captain the team while Jesse Parahi retains his spot after impressing on his return to the World Series arena in Paris last weekend.
“It’s a big weekend for all of the players in this squad. It’s the last opportunity for them to impress me on the World Series circuit before I select the squad for the Olympics,” coach Andy Friend said.
“Jesse [Parahi] was one player who did stick his hand up last weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing him back it up. I’ve not had the luxury of being able to select Pama [Fou] as yet – but he’s been looking sharp since returning to full training and to see him and Henry Hutchison combine is a potentially explosive mix.”
Australia has been drawn in Pool C for the series finale alongside hosts England, Wales and a Fiji side that could potentially include cross-code star Jarryd Hayne in its ranks.
“Challenges don’t get much bigger than the pool we have drawn. World Series champions-elect Fiji, a full-strength England side on home soil and a Wales team who have proved on more than one occasion that they are a match for anyone. It’s a huge challenge, but an exciting one at the same time,” Friend added.
London has been a happy hunting ground for the Australian Sevens team in recent times having reached the last three Cup Finals at the Home of English Rugby.
With one round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series remaining, Australia sits fourth in the standings (127 points), 18 points behind New Zealand in third place. Qualification for the Cup Quarter-Finals will ensure Fiji claims back-to-back World Series titles.
Australian Squad for London 7s
Nick Cummins, Allan Fa’alava’au, Sam Figg, Pama Fou, Josh Holmes, Henry Hutchison, Tom Kingston, Jesse Parahi, John Porch, Pat McCutcheon, Stephan van der Walt, Frank Winterstein.