Speight named in Aussie Sevens squad

Date published: November 27 2015

Wallaby speedster Henry Speight is one of three debutants in Australia's squad for the opening round of the 2015/16 World Rugby Sevens Series.

Australian Men's Sevens interim coach Scott Bowen has selected Speight along with with lightning 24-year-old back Tom Kingston and rugged Stephan van der Walt for the event in Dubai at the 50,000 capacity The Sevens Stadium.

Ed Jenkins will captain the side, while star centre Cameron Clark needs just 30 points to overtake Peter Miller and become Australia's all-time leading Sevens points scorer.

Pat McCutcheon (hamstring) and Nick Malouf (knee) are unavailable for the Dubai Sevens due to injury.

Australia head to Dubai on the back of some fine form having won the Central Coast Sevens last month and the Oceania Regional Olympic Qualifier in Auckland a fortnight ago. Last December, the Aussies finished tournament runners-up in Dubai after falling to a red-hot South Africa in the Cup Final.

"Everyone is excited for Dubai. The boys did well at the event 12 months ago and there is no reason to think we can't perform well this time around," said Bowen.

"The team is looking sharp and the players are fit and raring to go. As a group, we are battle-hardened having played in some high-pressure tournaments. When you add the fact we have three debutants keen to make their mark, then it's a tournament for all of us – from players, coaches and fans – to look forward to."

The Dubai Sevens is the first of 10 legs on a re-vamped Men's World Series calendar that now features Cape Town, Sydney, Singapore and Paris. 

Australia finished the 2014-15 Sevens World Series in fifth position, 12 points behind fourth-placed England. 

Australia have been drawn alongside Kenya, Wales and England in Pool D for Dubai.

Australia Sevens squad: Henry Speight, Tom Kingston, Sam Myers, Lewis Holland, James Stannard, Con Foley, Cameron Clark, Stephan van der Walt, Ed Jenkins, Allan Fa'alava'au, Pama Fou, Tom Cusack.