Toole, Nawaqanitawase included as Australia announces Men's Paris Olympics Sevens squad

Wed, Jul 3, 2024, 2:30 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Maurice Longbottom makes the South Africans pay for sloppy handling in their own half in the SVNS Hong Kong quarter-final

The Men's Rugby Sevens Olympics squad has been confirmed for the Paris Games as the squad hunt for their first medal.

Coach John Manenti has named a 12-player squad, with two reserve players set to travel to France.

CHECK OUT THE WOMEN'S SQUAD FOR THE PARIS OLYMPICS HERE

Flyers Corey Toole and Mark Nawaqanitawase have been added following their standout seasons in Super Rugby. 

Toole returns to the program after making his name in the title-winning world series campaign in 2021-22, whilst Nawaqanitawase featured at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Captain Nick Malouf and vice-captain Henry Hutchison will become three-time Olympians.

“It’s been a huge squad effort over the last three years to put us in a really good place to compete in Paris,” Malouf said.

“John and the coaching staff have put together a really exciting group of quality men who I’m sure will make Australians proud.

“Within the group, we’ve got a nice blend of first, second, and third-time Olympians who are all looking forward to competing hard at the Games. I’m so fortunate to be able to lead this team, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it over in Paris.”

Meanwhile, trio Nathan Lawson, Dietrich Roache and James Turner return for their second Olympic Games after featuring in the side that finished seventh in Tokyo.

Josh Turner and Michael Icely are the travelling reserves, who can be called up in case of injury or other withdrawal of one of the selected athletes.

"We’re delighted to announce the 2024 Paris Olympic squad – a squad that we’re confident will represent Australia with pride and performance," Manenti said.

“The group has over 330 world series tournaments of experience, five previous Olympians and seven debutants.

“We welcome Corey Toole and Mark Nawaqanitawase back to the squad, both of whom have had seamless transitions and add an X-factor to our well-established combinations.

“We had a really good two weeks in Fiji and Darwin recently and that along with our solid season has the team really well prepared for Paris.”

Wallabies legend Michael Hooper announced his retirement on Sunday after missing selection for the Olympic squad.

The men will face Argentina, Samoa, and Kenya in their pool, with action to kick off on July 24.

MEN'S RUGBY SEVENS SQUAD FOR PARIS OLYMPICS

1. Henry Hutchison

2. Ben Dowling

3. Corey Toole

4. Dietrich Roache

5. Mark Nawaqanitawase

6. Henry Paterson

7. Hayden Sargeant

8. James Turner

9. Matt Gonzalez

10. Nick Malouf (c)

11. Maurice Longbottom

12. Nathan Lawson

Reserves: Michael Icely and Josh Turner

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