8/12/2013

Sevens squad sets sail for London


University of Canberra Brumbies utility back Robbie Coleman will lead the squad to London on Tuesday where it will compete in the World Club Rugby Seven’s Series.

A former sevens star who represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Coleman heads a squad of 12 which boasts a quality mix of Super Rugby stars and the best of Canberra’s club competition, the John I Dent Cup.

Up front the Brumbies will be led by Etienne Oosthuizen, Stephan Van Der Walt, Andrew Smith and Jordan Smiler. Colby Faingaa and Matt Hawke strengthen the side further, while Henry Speight is sure to excite the Twickenham crowd in broken play.

Ian Prior, Zack Holmes and Coleman add experience to the squad while Rodney Iona and Tom Cox finish an electric set of outside backs.

The Brumbies are the only Australian side in the competition, with other teams travelling from New Zealand, South Africa, England, the USA, Russia and Argentina.

Head Coach Stephen Larkham said the World Club Rugby Seven’s Series presented the group with another opportunity to return to Canberra with silverware.

“Travel is one of the real bonuses of playing professional rugby and it’s exciting to be able to share it with this young group of players. There are a number of guys here who have never been to London so to have a chance to play international rugby there is fantastic,” Larkham said.

“We are taking the tournament as a genuine opportunity to add to the season’s success and it’s well within our potential to win big games at Twickenham.

“For guys like Matt [Hawke] and Rodney [Iona], this is a great chance for them to show what they can do against world-class opposition and get a real taste of professional rugby.

“As the only Australian team these guys have been given a chance to not only represent the ACT but also their country. There are sides from right around the world competing which makes this a unique opportunity for the Brumbies players we have selected.”

The Brumbies first opponent will be London’s Harlequins, before facing Auckland and Russian side Kuban Krasnodar. All pool matches take place on Saturday, 17 August.

The playoffs will run on day two of the competition, Sunday 18 August. The Brumbies fly to London on Tuesday morning.

University of Canberra Brumbies

1.    Etienne Oosthuizen
2.    Andrew Smith
3.    Jordan Smiler
4.    Matt Hawke
5.    Colby Faingaa
6.    Henry Speight
7.    Rodney Iona
8.    Stephan Van Der Walt
9.    Ian Prior
10.    Zack Holmes
11.    Robbie Coleman (c)
12.    Tom Cox