Australia 7s trial squad named
October 31, 2007
The ARU has today named a 27-man Sevens squad for a three-day trial camp on the Gold Coast commencing Friday.
The camp is the first of two before a final squad of 12 is selected for the opening tournaments of the 2007/2008 IRB Sevens World Series, to be played in Dubai and South Africa in December.
The training squad contains seven players from the 2006/07 squad, including veterans Ant Sauer and Shawn Mackay, Melbourne Rebels duo Nathan Trist and James Lew, Canberra Vikings pair Tim Cornforth and Tim Wright and Australian Under 19s flyer Blair Connor.
Three other players, Jeremy Sua, Ben McCalman and Mitch Inman, have also been called up from the Australian Under 19s team which finished third in the iRB World Championships in Belfast in April.
The squad has been injected with Super 14 talent including Queensland Reds teammates Lloyd Johansson and Henari Veratau, Brumbies' Peter Kimlin and Waratahs' Tim Davidson.
Johansson is the only full-international in the squad, having earned his maiden Wallabies Test cap against New Zealand in Auckland in 2005.
Also announced today was Melbourne Rebels coach Bill Millard, who coached the Australian Sevens from the 2002/3 series through to February 2005, to fill the role of caretaker coach for the first two legs of the iRB Sevens World Series. A permanent replacement will be named in time for the third leg in Wellington in February.
Millard, who guided the previously unheralded Rebels to the final of the inaugural Mazda Australian Rugby Championship earlier this month, said the training camp would quickly prove which players had the stamina and fitness required in Sevens.
"The coaching staff will work all these players to their absolute limits. We want to see who has not only the necessary skill levels, but also the strength and endurance to thrive in this format of the game," he said.
"An advantage we have on previous years is that the camp has come off the back of the Mazda ARC season, which has improved every aspect of their game, especially their skill levels and fitness."
"The Sevens program gives many of these players an opportunity to further their professional career and put forward their claims for a Super 14 contract," Millard concluded.
Australian Sevens Trial Squad
Shawn MacKay (NSW)