The Sevens program has confirmed interim captain Henry Hutchison has been ruled out for the rest of the 2023 season after a multitude of injuries.
Hutchison was carried off the field during their group stages win over Argentina at last week's Sydney Sevens, appearing to have damaged the ACL in his left knee along with injuring the right knee.
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However, the 25-year-old has revealed he sprained his wrist and broke several ribs at the preceding tournament in Hamilton.
“Obviously with the 2023 World Series being an Olympic qualifying year, I’m super disappointed that I won’t be able to contribute any further on the field, however, I’ll be doing everything in my power to contribute to the team in a positive way,” Hutchison said in a statement.
“I’m hoping that my injury gives new boys the opportunity to develop their game and add further depth to our squad. There are a lot of talented footballers on this side – I’m anticipating that someone will step up and get the job done in my absence.
“Injuries are a part of football – they come with the territory. This is the biggest setback I’ve faced in my career to date, but I have full faith in the rehabilitation team I’m working with. I know they will go above and beyond in getting me back to my pre-injury state.
“I aim to come back to rugby a better player and a better athlete, mentally refreshed and ready to roll into a big 2024."
Hutchison had stepped into the captaincy role following an ankle injury to Nick Malouf in Dubai, who will be pushing to be fit for their next event in Los Angeles on February 25-26.
His focus turns to ensuring his fitness ahead of the Paris Olympics in 2024 whilst completing his Bachelor of Commence degree, becoming the first Sevens player ever to be awarded an AIS Education Scholarship last June.
“One of the biggest challenges for me over the next 9-12 months will be keeping my mind active and staying focused. The training and the rehabilitation will be the easy part – the mental endurance required for recovery will be the focus area for me," he added.
“I know I have a lot of support at Rugby Australia, as well as from my family and friends, and I’ll rely on all parties to keep me moving in the right direction.
“People may view my injury as an incident that has robbed me of a playing year – I don’t see it that way. It has given me time to get my body right – I’ve been going pretty hell for leather for six years now. I’ll find the silver linings wherever they may be.”