Friend changes two for Sydney showdown

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:25
Large australia sevens huddle 800

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Australian Men's Sevens coach Andy Friend has made two changes to his side ahead of the Sydney Sevens this weekend at Allianz Stadium kicking off on Australia Day. 

Veteran Jesse Parahi returns to the team while speedster Charlie Taylor has earned his first start of the 2017/18 season after impressing in Darwin last weekend at the Hottest Sevens. Matthew Hood and Jeral Skelton drop out of the squad that won the Challenge Trophy in Cape Town. 

The Aussie Sevens are in Pool D alongside Sevens World Series heavyweights USA, Canada and Scotland with Friend desperate to earn Cup quarterFinal qualification to ensure a strong seeding ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games draw next week.

"We marked Sydney Sevens down at the start of the season as one of our target tournaments, so we have an internal expectation to do well here," said Friend.

"It's crucial that we do perform to the best of our ability, not only because it's on home soil in front of family and friends, but also because of its importance to the Commonwealth Games draw.

"We weren't happy with our pool performance in Cape Town and so now we have to aim up against USA, Canada and Scotland. All three teams will be tough opponents so we will need to be at our best to beat them respectively.

"Jesse (Parahi), Charlie (Taylor) and Tom (Lucas) all played well in Darwin, and have earned their inclusion into the squad. As a squad, it's now about trusting the hard work we’ve put in over the past six months, and enjoying the vibe and excitement about playing on our home turf," Friend said. 

Australia Sevens: Charlie Taylor, Simon Kennewell, Sam Myers, Lewis Holland (captain), James Stannard, John Porch, Tim Anstee, Jesse Parahi, Boyd Killingworth, Ben O'Donnell, Maurice Longbottom, Lachie Anderson.

13th man: Tom Lucas

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 19 February 2018
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 14h45 Port Elizabeth
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Cape Town
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 16h30 Cape Town
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Fri, 23 February 2018
Dragons v Edinburgh 22h00 Rodney Parade
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
SEVENS
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Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
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England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
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Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
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Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
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New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
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Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
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South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
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Wales Sevens