Australia head to Port Elizabeth for the third round of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series with renewed optimism after reaching the Cup Final in last weekend’s Dubai Sevens and jumping four places to third in the overall standings.
Second seeds for the South African Sevens tournament after their impressive showing in the United Arab Emirates, Australia has been drawn in Pool B alongside Argentina, Portugal and Zimbabwe.
Head Coach Geraint John said: “The players who performed so well for the country in Dubai deserve to be picked again for this tournament. I was delighted with the way the team played in Dubai – courage, determination and skill – however, this series is very unforgiving and if we don’t turn up with the right attitude this weekend then we will fall short.
“For us, this next week is all about getting the little things right. Recovering well and preparing well for what is another hard group. Argentina have flown under the radar in my opinion but they have been very, very good this season so far and are producing consistently good results.
“Portugal have a couple of genuine match winners in their side and beat Canada in Dubai which makes them a threat. Zimbabwe don’t have the opportunity to play in too many World Series events, so this is a real opportunity for them to impress. Every team in this pool deserves and will get our utmost respect.”
Australia will be looking to improve on its recent record in Sevens tournaments in South Africa with seventh the best finish recorded since the 2002/3 season.
John added: “As we showed in Dubai, where our record has perhaps not been the best in recent times, these kind of runs are there to be broken. Every country that is heading to Port Elizabeth will be looking to win the event and we are no different. The South Africans are so passionate about their national Rugby team which won’t make it easy for us, but we go there with plenty of confidence.”
Australia currently sit third on 29 points after two rounds of the 2014/15 series. Fiji are the ladder leaders (39 points), two points clear of South Africa.
Fans can watch all of the action live from Port Elizabeth on FOX SPORTS.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures for Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 13-14 December:
- Australia v Portugal, Pool B, 8.14pm (AEDT), 13 December
- Australia v Zimbabwe, Pool B, 11.30pm (AEDT), 13 December
- Australia v Argentina, Pool B, 3.10am (AEDT), 14 December
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa:
- Cameron Clark. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
- Tom Cusack. Club: Canberra Royals, ACT. Hometown: Canberra, ACT
- Allan Fa’alava’au. Club: Endeavour Hills, VIC. Hometown: Auckland, NZ
- Con Foley. Club: University of Queensland, QLD. Hometown: Fairfield, QLD
- Pama Fou. Club: South, QLD. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD
- Alex Gibbon. Club: Southern Districts. Hometown: Lismore, NSW
- Lewis Holland. Club: Queanbeyan Whites. Hometown: Queanbeyan, NSW
- Greg Jeloudev. Club: Sydney University. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
- Ed Jenkins. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
- Nick Malouf. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Robertson, QLD
- Sam Myers. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Grenfell, NSW
- James Stannard. Club: Souths, QLD. Born: Brisbane, QLD