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O'Connor confident in baby Sevens squad

02/12/2009 08:05:54 PM Comments (0)

Australian rugby sevens coach Michael O'Connor is confident his youthful squad can step up to the global stage when the IRB Sevens World Series kicks off in Dubai on Friday.

O'Connor's 12-man team has an average age of just 20 and only two players - captain Patrick McCutcheon and utility back Brian Sefanaia - have previous experience on the eight-leg sevens circuit.

But the coach is confident his rookies can make an impact in the two-day, series-opening tournament.

"It's a good opportunity for them to step out onto the world stage and show what they've got," O'Connor said.

"We're one of the youngest squads in the IRB Sevens and that's not a bad thing.

"They're young, they're keen, they're very enthusiastic and they've come to well together in a short period of time, they're very eager to learn and to do well."

Australia have been drawn alongside defending sevens champions South Africa, current sevens World Cup-holders Wales and the Arabian Gulf in the 16-team tournament.

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