The Australian Sevens team has been handed a significant boost ahead of its home tournament, the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide this weekend with the return of Western Force centre Brian Sefanaia and Queensland Reds back Kimami Sitauti.
Sefanaia, who made his Super Rugby debut against the Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday, comes back into the side after missing the Hong Kong tournament, while Sitauti returns to the Sevens fold for the first time since helping Australia secure a silver medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
The experienced duo come into the side for the sixth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series as replacements for John Grant and Henry Vanderglas.
“It’s really great to have Kimami and Brian back for our home tournament in Adelaide, it gives us a real boost,” said coach Michael O’Connor.
“Kimami was outstanding for us last year during the World Series and also in Delhi – and he’s really excited about getting some game time after warming the bench for the Reds.
“Brian was originally coming with us to Hong Kong but he received a late call-up to play for the Force.
“They both will bring invaluable experience into the group and they’re familiar with the set-up and also the other players, so that’s great.”
Australia are currently ranked sixth in the Series and have been drawn in a challenging pool alongside USA, Tonga and Fiji for the two-day event at the refurbished Adelaide Oval.
“I think Fiji have definitely been the best side not to win a tournament this year,” O’Connor added.
“They were very impressive in Hong Kong but fell at the final hurdle and have been very unlucky.
“They’re certainly going to be a big test for our boys.”
At last year’s event, Australia fought back from a 22-14 deficit with just two minutes remaining to topple Fiji 26-22 to stay in the race for the Cup, before bowing out to eventual tournament and World Series champions Samoa in the semi finals, 26-12.
Samoa defeated Cup final debutants USA 38-10 to win the 2010 Adelaide Sevens, while Australia’s Cup semi-finals appearance was equal to their best result at their home event.
After the first five stops on the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series, Hong Kong victors New Zealand (110) lead England (105) at the top of the standings, ahead of Samoa and Fiji (84). Fifth-placed South Africa (72) defeated Australia in last Sunday’s Plate Final in Hong Kong to lengthen their lead over Australia to 26 points.
Adelaide Sevens Tickets still available!
Tickets are still available for the fifth annual International Rugby Sevens Adelaide and start from just $55 for a two-day pass. Visit Ticketek www.ticketek.com.au.
For more information visit www.adealaidesevens.com.au .
Past winners in Adelaide
2009: South Africa
2008: South Africa
Australia squad: Bernard Foley (capt), Ed Jenkins, (vc), Hamish Angus, Shaun Foley, Lewis Holland, Zack Holmes, Greg Jeloudev, Tevita Kuridrani, Jono Lance, Brian Sefanaia, Kimami Sitauti, Jacob Taylor.
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