The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team has been named for round three of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hamilton, New Zealand with Nick Malouf named as captain of the squad for 2020.
The new leadership group of Malouf alongside Lewis Holland and Lachlan Anderson as vice captains will guide the Australian Men’s Sevens team in a massive year for the sport with less than 200 days until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Malouf has an exemplary record as a leader amongst the team and has captained the Aussie 7s through the injury absence of Lewis Holland already on the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Malouf has 36 caps for Australia and returned from playing in the Premiership in England in 2018 to chase a Gold Medal dream in Tokyo.
With the squad for Hamilton Dylan Pietsch returns to the playing field for the first time since July last year and will be hungry to prove himself to Head Coach Tim Walsh and selectors ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Aussie Men’s Sevens team departs for Hamilton on Wednesday 22 January ahead of the round kicking off on Saturday 25 January where the green and gold will meet Argentina, Fiji and Samoa in Pool D.
The Men’s Sevens Series has a new format with the top team of each pool progressing straight away to the Semi Finals in a winner takes all battle across the Pool stages.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh said: “This is a great opportunity for Nick in 2020 in his new role as Captain and I congratulate him on his new role.
“Nick has a great Rugby brain and is consistently one of the most consistent performers in the gold jersey and is well respected by players and staff alike.
“We have a clearly defined leadership group with Lewis and Lachlan, and they will do well leading this squad in what is a massive year for our game.”
On the Australian Squad to play in Hamilton, Walsh added: “it’s great to be welcoming back Dylan Pietsch into the squad. Dylan has been working very hard following his injury and making sure that he is back in form.
“He adds, speed and ferociousness in defence that highlights his work rate across the park.
“There is a new format for us to contend with in Hamilton, but Sevens is all about adapting to the conditions and the whole squad is looking forward to putting what we have worked on out on the park.”
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Captain, Nick Malouf said: “I’m really humbled by this opportunity to Captain my country and I am looking forward to working with Lewis, Lachlan and the rest of the squad in 2020.
“We have set some ambitious targets for this team this season and we are really building something exciting out of this group.
“For us it is about making sure we get our preparation right in every round of the Series and continue to build towards Tokyo.
“That all starts in Hamilton next week, where we have a tough group with a new format to contend with. We’re looking forward to getting over the ditch and getting back out on the park again.”
The Qantas Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams will be in action at home at the HSBC Sydney 7s on February 1-2 at Bankwest Stadium, with tickets available on Ticketek.
Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Team for Hamilton
1.Nick Malouf (c), University of Queensland, 36 caps
2. Joe Pincus, Easts (Sydney), 8 caps
3. Lachlan Anderson (vc), Eastwood, 23 caps
4. Jeral Skelton, Brothers, 16 caps
5. Jesse Parahi, Norths (Sydney), 46 caps
6. Dylan Pietsch, Randwick, 14 caps
7. Maurice Longbottom, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, 16 caps
8. Josh Turner, Manly, 2 caps
9. Lewis Holland (vc), Queanbeyan, 48 caps
10. Ben O’Donnell, Randwick, 18 caps
11. Henry Hutchison, Randwick, 27 caps
12. Lachlan Miller, Randwick, 8 caps
13th Rod Davies, 2 caps