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Aussie men's 7s chances get rugby Rocket

Former Queensland winger and one-time Wallabies flyer Rod Davies has been parachuted into Australia's men's sevens squad to play this weekend in Canada.

Aussie men's 7s chances get rugby Rocket

Former Queensland winger and one-time Wallabies flyer Rod Davies has been parachuted into Australia's men's sevens squad to play this weekend in Canada.

Tim Walsh has pulled a rocket out of his hat as Australia's men's rugby sevens side aim to draw nearer to direct Olympic qualification this weekend in Canada.

Australia sit sixth halfway through the 10-leg world series, with the top four at season's end punching tickets to Tokyo's 2020 Games.


Frustrated by missed opportunities and seeking speed in Maurice Longbottom's (hamstring) absence, coach Walsh has turned to Super Rugby champion Rod Davies to fill the void.

Known affectionately as Rocket, noted speedster Davies helped the Queensland Reds to the 2011 title and played one Test for the Wallabies before stints in France and Japan.

Still just 29, Davies is back in Australian rugby with the Western Force and, after a brief training stint with Walsh's squad, has earned a start in Vancouver.

"Rod is one of the fastest players in Australian rugby and the strategy will be to get him into space to showcase his speed," said Walsh, who described his arrival as a "fortuitous bonus".

Australia missed a chance to climb the rankings after a stirring pool-game defeat of Olympic champions Fiji last weekend in Las Vegas, before losing their quarter-final to eventual finalists Samoa by one point.

A tournament win in the American desert would have shot them to fourth ahead of England, who are on 68 points.

Instead, Australia (57 points) sit 10 points - the amount earned for sixth place at a tournament - behind fifth-placed South Africa in what has been a tedious season for the Aussie men.

The United States (98) lead the overall series, having won their home event, with New Zealand (93) and Fiji (84) trailing.

"Vancouver marks the second half of the season and we need to be smarter, faster and mentally stronger on the home stretch," Walsh said.

Australia will play New Zealand, Spain and France in pool games on Sunday morning (AEDT).

Australia: Nick Malouf, Jesse Parahi, Michael Wells, Simon Kennewell, Jeral Skelton, Henry Hutchison, Liam McNamara, Brandon Quinn, Rod Davies, Lewis Holland (capt), John Porch, Ben O'Donnell, Dylan Pietsch (13th man).

AAP


AAP




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