Lachie Turner boosts Games sevens bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lachie Turner boosts Games sevens bid

17/08/2010 02:31:14 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies winger Lachie Turner will boost Australia's charge for rugby sevens Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi.

Unused by Wallabies coach Robbie Deans so far this season, NSW Waratahs speedster Turner was included along with Brumbies outside back Pat McCabe, Western Force winger Nick Cummins and Queensland Reds wing/fullback Luke Morahan as fresh faces in the 12-man Australian sevens side named on Tuesday to contest the Games in October.

The rest of the squad are seasoned campaigners for Australia on the IRB Sevens world series circuit under skipper Pat McCutcheon.

The Australian team recorded their best result in more than eight years when they finished the recent world series in third place, suggesting they can get among the medals in Delhi.

But Australia has not won a Commonwealth Games rugby sevens medal since securing bronze in 1998 when the sport was first included on the program.

Coach Michael O'Connor has opted for a mix of big game experience and proven combinations, retaining three members of the winning team from the London world series tournament in Bernard Foley, Nicholas Phipps and James Stannard.

Australia have been drawn alongside arch-rivals England in the pool stage and will take plenty of confidence from their performance at Twickenham where they defeated the hosts in the pool rounds and went on to claim the title, Australia's first since 2002.

They also take on Namibia and Sri Lanka in Pool D but 2006 silver-medallists England pose the biggest threat to Australia finishing top of their pool and securing a favourable seeding in the quarter-finals.

McCutcheon takes back the sevens team captaincy from Stannard after missing the final two legs of the world series to compete in the Super Rugby finals for the NSW Waratahs.

O'Connor said he's confident his squad will be highly competitive.

"Three quarters of this squad is from this year's sevens series and they've tasted good success, they've got good experience and solid combinations," O'Connor said.

"I've been able to keep the nucleus of the team together and the four that have come in have been brought in to enhance the side.

"I think they've got the attributes which tick all of the right boxes.

"Morahan was our best player in 2009 and he's come back into the squad very seamlessly."

Turner said the squad were working hard in their Games preparation which includes a hit-out against world champions Samoa in Darwin on October 1-3 in a warm-up tournament just prior to Delhi.

"We're just all working on our individual skills and fitness and hopefully that will give us that extra edge come the Delhi Games," Turner said.

"We'll be hard to beat and I'm sure we'll come away with some silverware."

Team: Robbie Coleman (NSW) Nick Cummins (WA) Bernard Foley (NSW) Liam Gill (QLD) Pat McCabe (NSW) Pat McCutcheon (NSW) Luke Morahan (QLD) Nick Phipps (NSW) Brian Sefanaia (NSW) Kimami Sitauti (QLD) James Stannard (ACT) Lachie Turner (NSW).

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