New faces in Aussies sevens side
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Australia Sevens head coach Andy Friend has named a new-look squad to represent Australia in the first tournament in the 2016/2017 Sevens World Series in Dubai.
The coach has introduced five debutants to the 13-man squad.
Following in the footsteps of his younger sister Charlotte, Sam Caslick, will be representing his country in Dubai following on from his debut at the Oceania Sevens earlier in November.
In a period of regeneration for the young Aussie Sevens side, Caslick will be joined by Michael Adams, Simon Kennewell, Charlie Taylor and Tim Anstee in representing Australia for the first time in the Sevens World Series.
With club captain Lewis Holland still unavailable for selection due to injury, Sam Meyers will take on the role of tournament captain in his 25th Sevens Cap.
After first having being called into the Australian Sevens program in September 2015, Simon Kennewell was temporarily released from the program midway through this year to play on the wing for Australia at the 2016 Under-20 World Championship, where he made a name for himself as a dangerous try-scoring threat.
Tim Anstee will make his debut after a strong rise through the Sevens pathways, winning a silver medal for Australia at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, and following it up with a gold medal this year for the Uniroos squad at the World University Games in Swansea, Wales in July 2016.
Charlie Taylor comes into the Sevens squad having played a mix of Rugby League and Rugby in the NSW Cup and having represented NSW at Schoolboys level for Rugby from 2012/2013. Hailing from the Warringah Rats, the Personal Trainer plays centre and wing in the XV-man version of the game.
Holland will lead a development side as a coach with the team competing in an invitational Sevens tournament run alongside the Dubai Sevens, as the Aussie Sevens team looks to expand the depth of the young squad.
Head coach, Andy Friend is excited about his young charges, he stated: "This is an exciting period for this young group of guys after an intense pre-season.
"We learnt a lot from the Oceania Sevens tournament and this group is showing real potential with a lot of young players really putting their hand up for future opportunities.
"Lewis [Holland] taking up the reins as coach for the first time is a unique opportunity for him but is a testament to his leadership and standing amongst the squad and it will also give us another opportunity to view players in tournament conditions," he added.
Australia: Sam Myers, Edward Jenkins, Michael Adams, Connor Mitchell, Boyd Killingworth, Alex Gibbon, Simon Kennewell, Patrick McCutcheon, Samuel Caslick, Henry Hutchison, James Stannard, Charlie Taylor, Tim Anstee