Aussies out to build on encouraging start to sevens series

Australia's Sam Myers is tackled by Kenya's defence in round one of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.
Australia's Sam Myers is tackled by Kenya's defence in round one of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. Martin Dokoupil

RUGBY SEVENS: Australia's new-look men's team will be looking to build on its Dubai Sevens performance in Cape Town tonight.

Four of the five debutants Australia took into the opening round of the World Rugby Sevens Series last week have retained their places in the squad for round two.

Coach Andy Friend has bolstered the line-up with strength and experience, calling in Jesse Parahi and Stephan van der Walt to replace Pat McCutcheon and Conor Mitchell.

In Dubai, the young Aussie team finished a creditable fifth, winning five out of its six matches - the single loss being the crucial quarter-final that separates the top-four contenders from the rest of the pack.

Friend is hoping to build on that tournament experience for his newer players.

"The team showed great ability and character to finish in fifth after a disappointing loss in the quarter-finals in Dubai,” Friend said.

"With five debutants last week, we showed the depth of our young talent we have coming through this squad and we are looking forward to getting back out on to the field in Cape Town.”

Sam Caslick, Charlie Taylor, Mick Adams and Simon Kennewell are the four rookies who get to step up again.

Tonight: Australia v USA 8.27pm, Australia v Russia 11.48pm; Tomorrow: Australia v South Africa 3.56am (times AEST)

Topics:  andy friend

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