New faces in Australian Sevens Squad
November 2, 2005

Big Randwick flanker and former Sydney Rooster Shawn Mackay has been named as captain of an "Aussie Spirit" invitational sevens team to play in the Singapore Cricket Club Sevens this weekend.

Mackay made his Australian Sevens debut at the Dubai Sevens in December last year and went on to play in every IRB tournament, as well as the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong and the Hottest Sevens in the World in Darwin.

Australian Sevens Coach Glen Ella today named Mackay in a 24-man Australian Sevens squad from which he will select his teams for the upcoming IRB Sevens series which starts in Dubai on 1-2 December.

The 24-man squad includes several players returning from the 2004-05 series, as well as a number of new faces including Jordan Macey who is yet to play a game of Rugby.

Macey played 1st Division Rugby League for Manly before being invited by Ella to play in the recent trial matches for the Australian Sevens squad.

"We want to have a close look at this Aussie Spirit team in Singapore before we finalise our team for the Dubai and George tournaments," Ella said.

"There are several players who have not played Sevens at the international level before, so it will be a big test for them.

"In the case of Jordan Macey, he has never played Rugby before. He played Rugby League in Port Macquarie before coming down to Sydney to play for Manly.

"The trials were open to anyone who wanted to have a crack at the squad, and Jordan was a standout performer.

"We will just have to make sure he doesn't try to play the ball when he gets tackled."

Joining Mackay and Macey in the Aussie Spirit team this weekend will be former Australian Sevens captain Rob McDonald who has been attracted back to the Sevens circuit by the lure of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

McDonald last played for Australia at the 2003 Brisbane Sevens when he captained the team that included Qantas Wallabies Chris Latham, Drew Mitchell and Lote Tuqiri.

He had a two-year stint in Japan for club team Nippon Steel, before returning to Australia in December last year.

McDonald said he would love to have the chance to play in his second Commonwealth Games.

"Nothing is guaranteed and obviously I will have to play well enough to get selected, but it would be nice to be involved in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne because it such a big event," McDonald said.

"We were disappointed with how we performed at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. We bombed out in the Quarter Finals, losing a very close match against Samoa, so it would be very satisfying to achieve a better result in Melbourne."

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