SA forward in Brumbies' 7s team
Sat, 10 Aug 2013 12:21
It's a bit weird being back in training so early
Stephen Larkham has named South African utility forward Etienne Oosthuizen in his Brumbies side for the World Club Sevens.
The Brumbies assistant coach, Larkham, has taken charge of the Canberra-based franchise's Seven-a-side team after their most successful Super Rugby campaign in almost a decade.
Oosthuizen, who moved to Canberra from the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on a two-year contract, will feature alongside another South African.
Stephan van der Walt, who plays as either an outside centre or wing, was named in the Brumbies extended playing squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Larkham insists his side can carry that form forward into the abbreviated form of the game, when they pit their skills against the world's best at the inaugural World Club Sevens - on August 17 and 18 at Twickenham.
After finishing top of the Australia Super Rugby conference the Brumbies downed South African sides the Cheetahs and the Blues Bulls to reach the Super Rugby Final for the first time since 2004, only to lose 22-27 to New Zealand's defending champion Chiefs.
The Australian side were drawn in Pool C alongside Auckland Sevens, Russian outfit Kuban Krasnodar and 2012 Premiership champions Harlequins who they will open up against at Twickenham on August 17.
The Brumbies will arrive in London with a strong squad with wing Henry Speight - who started the final - joined by Colby Faingaa, Ian Prior and Andrew Smith all of whom were named among the replacements against the Chiefs.
And taking over from head coach Jake White for the Sevens, former Australian international Larkham is looking to help his side forget their defeat against the Chiefs as quickly as possible and he sees no better way than victory at the home of English rugby.
"We're in a pretty hard pool against Auckland, the Harlequins and a Russian team," Larkham said.
"We've got some quality players going over and we want to win. It's a really good initiative, there are some top teams competing in it.
"We've been the best team in Australia all year so it's going to be good for us. The beauty of rugby is that it is an international game and you get to travel and play in different parts of the world.”
The Brumbies, one of just three Southern Hemisphere sides selected to take part in the World Club Sevens, returned to training on Thursday just five days after losing out against the Chiefs.
And wing Speight can't wait to step out on the hallowed Twickenham turf, even if he admits returning to training so soon after the traditional end of season Down Under was a shock to the system.
"It's a bit weird being back in training so early, but it has to be done," said Speight.
"I haven't been looking too much at the 'what ifs' from last weekend but we came so close.
"Getting back into training helps get on with it and the Sevens is fun and something different. It will take our minds off Super Rugby."
Brumbies: Etienne Oosthuizen, Andrew Smith, Jordan Smiler, Matt Hawke, Colby Faingaa, Henry Speight, Rodney Iona, Stephan van der Walt, Ian Prior, Zack Holmes, Robbie Coleman, Tom Cox.
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