Warringah’s Tom Connor to make Australian debut at Sydney 7s

Warringah backrower Tom Connor will make his international debut on home soil this week after earning a call up into the Australian squad for this week’s Sydney 7s.

Connor replaces injured utility Simon Kennewell  who suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament at training and will undergo surgery ruling him out of the rest of the 2017/18 Sevens World Series.

The 25-year old has played for Australia previously at invitational tournaments in Fiji and the Central Coast (NSW), while he was also part of the victorious Warringah side that claimed the 2017 Shute Shield.

“It’s incredibly disappointing for Simon. He’s been one of our most improved players in the last year and is now a player that the opposition fear and respect,” Australian coach Andy Friend said.

“It’s a cruel blow for him personally but also us as a team with so much at stake for us over the next six months. Simon is a fighter though, and with the full support of the squad, we know he’ll come back bigger and better.

“This injury now provides an opportunity for Tom Connor. Tom has been knocking on the door for over five years now searching for an opportunity to represent his country on the World Series. He’s played for Australia previously at Oceania, but now will get his chance to make his World Series debut here in Sydney.

“He’s well known campaigner who has proven himself in Sevens with Tribe7s as well as Club Rugby with Warringah. I have no doubt that he will relish the opportunity and will not let us down,” Friend said.

Australian squad for Sydney 7s

1. Charlie Taylor, 7 caps, Manly
2. Tom Connor*, Warringah
3. Sam Myers, 30 caps, Norths (Sydney)
4. Lewis Holland (c), 33 caps, Queanbeyan Whites
5. James Stannard, 43 caps, Souths (Brisbane)
6. John Porch, 11 caps, Norths (Sydney)
7. Tim Anstee, 12 caps, Eastwood
8. Jesse Parahi, 36 caps, Norths (Sydney)
9. Boyd Killingworth, 15 caps, Warringah
10. Ben O’Donnell, 2 caps, Randwick
11. Maurice Longbottom, 2 caps, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team
12. Lachie Anderson, 9 caps, Eastwood

13th man. Tom Lucas, 19 caps, Sunnybank
*denotes HSBC World Series debut