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Rugby Australia has announced the Australian Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens squads for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, USA next weekend.
Australian Men’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh has named a settled squad with Lewis Holland set to lead the side at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Henry Hutchison will cap his return to the Sevens program with a Rugby World Cup Sevens appearance while Liam McNamara has earned himself a berth in the side following an impressive showing in Australia’s last leg of the World Series in Paris.
The Australian Women’s side will again be co-captained by Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams, with the latter overcoming an ankle injury that has ruled her out since the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The Australian Women, who were recently crowned the 2017/18 Sevens World Series champions, have named their strongest possible squad with Dominique du Toit unavailable because of a collarbone injury.
Both the Men’s and Women’s sides finished fifth at the World Cup in Russia five years ago but the Women have tasted World Cup Sevens success before, when they lifted the trophy in 2009 at the inaugural Women’s event in Dubai.
The Australian Men have featured at all six of the previous Rugby World Cup Sevens, having finished second on two occasions (1993, 2001) and third in 2005.
Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 (in alphabetical order):
Lauren Brown*, 3 caps, QLD and Griffith University
Charlotte Caslick, 29 caps, QLD and Bond University
Emilee Cherry, 32 caps, QLD and University of Queensland
Ellia Green*, 21 caps, VIC and University of Tasmania
Demi Hayes*, 8 caps, QLD and Griffith University
Page McGregor*, 3 caps, NSW and Macquarie University
Yasmin Meakes*, 3 caps, ACT and University of Canberra
Shannon Parry (c), 31 caps, QLD and Griffith University
Evania Pelite*, 20 caps, QLD and University of Adelaide
Alicia Quirk*, 26 caps, NSW and University of New England
Cassie Staples*, 7 caps, NSW and University of Canberra
Emma Tonegato*, 24 caps, NSW and University of Adelaide
Sharni Williams (c), 27 caps, ACT and University of Canberra
*Rugby World Cup Sevens debut
Australian Women’s coach John Manenti said: “Obviously being knockout, it’s really hard to plan. You can have any number of teams depending on how you go and how they go.
“You can’t buy experience and the fact that most of the squad have been through it and done it over the years, and more recently in Paris last month, that will put them in good stead.
“There is sure to be close games in the World Cup and I think experience will help us through that when they come,” Manenti said.
Australian Women’s Sevens fixture at AT&T Park, San Francisco on Saturday 21 July:
Australia v Papua New Guinea at 4:28am AEST
If Australia wins its first clash against Papua New Guinea, they will progress through to the top eight playoff.
Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 (in alphabetical order):
Lachlan Anderson*, 17 caps, Eastwood NSW
Tim Anstee*, 20 caps, Eastwood NSW
Lewis Holland (c), 40 caps, Queanbeyan
Henry Hutchison*, 17 caps, Randwick NSW
Boyd Killingworth*, 19 caps, Warringah NSW
Maurice Longbottom*, 8 caps, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team
Tom Lucas*, 27 caps, Sunnybank QLD
Liam McNamara*, 8 caps, Sunnybank QLD
Sam Myers*, 37 caps, Norths NSW
Ben O’Donnell*, 10 caps, Randwick NSW
Jesse Parahi, 44 caps, Norths NSW
John Porch*, 19 caps, Norths NSW
Brandon Quinn*, 9 caps, Gordon NSW
*Rugby World Cup Sevens debut
Australian Men’s coach Tim Walsh said: “Every game is a battle for the right to compete to be the world’s best. From the outset, every game has a real pressure about it and so it’s all about embracing and owning those key moments.
“The format is different and being adaptive and agile is the environment of international Sevens. Teams will be well equipped and prepared in anticipation for this prestigious event. There has to be a winner and loser and potentially, every moment of every game could be the difference.
“We are used to playing six games over two days and not four games over three days, so in order to replicate the Rugby World Cup format we have adjusted our training and strategies to assist with our mental preparation. More so than ever our 'Process driven and Performance based' thinking, is relevant.
“Liam (McNamara) has had a tough run with injuries over the last while but really came back strong in Paris last month to force my hand. He’s a great ball player with awareness, time and composure so I’m looking forward to seeing him play to his potential,” Walsh said.
Australian Men’s Sevens fixture at AT&T Park, San Francisco on Saturday 21 July:
Australia v Winner M3 (France/Jamaica) at 12:47pm AEST
If Australia wins its first clash, they will progress through to the top eight playoff.
For the Australian Men’s player profiles, please click here
The Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports with the action kicking off on FOX Sports Channel 501 from 3am AEST on Saturday July 21.
20 JULY 2018