Hosts Australia lean on rookies

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:25

SYDNEY SEVENS TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Australian coach Andy Friend has named three debutants in his team ahead of this weekend's Sevens World Series event in Sydney.

Liam McNamara, Brandon Quinn and Lachlan Anderson will all pull on the Gold jersey for the first time in Sydney, bringing the tally to 10 debutants so far this season.

Friend's squad will be one of the most youthful Australian teams to ever feature in a World Series event, with an average age of 22 and just 94 caps between the 12 players.

"We've had 10 guys who've been thrust into the World Series, because of the changes we had after Rio and the injuries we've had to some of our more experienced players," Friend said.

"It's probably a bit earlier than expected but it's a great opportunity for them.

"I'm looking for these guys to be the future so they've got to show me that they've got what it takes to be the future.

"Just because they're getting a start doesn't mean they've made it, it's just an opportunity for them to show me what they've got."

Former captain Ed Jenkins failed to recover in time from an injured shoulder but tournament skipper Sam Myers has been cleared to play, after he picked up a shoulder complaint in Wellington last weekend.

Australia will have some blockbusters in Pool C on Saturday with games against Scotland, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand in front of what's set to be a sell-out crowd at Sydney's Allianz Stadium.

"The exciting thing for the players is to be able to ply their trade in front of family and friends.

"The boys have limited opportunities to do that, so this weekend is really to be able to show what we've got, and make their family friends really proud of the efforts they're putting in behind the scenes."

Australia: Henry Hutchison, Brandon Quinn, Sam Myers, Alex Gibbon, James Stannard, Tate McDermott, Liam McNamara, Simon Kennewell, Tim Anstee, Michael Adams, Charlie Taylor, Lachie Anderson.

Thirteenth man: Dylan Pietsch

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