Ed Jenkins bolsters Australia in London
May 9, 2013
Ed Jenkins is back among the Sevens captains at Twickenham © RFU
Australia have made one change to the HSBC Sevens World Series squad that claimed the Bowl at the Glasgow Sevens last weekend, with regular captain Ed Jenkins returning after a seven-month lay-off due to injury. This weekend's London Sevens, the last tournament of the 2012-13 HSBC Sevens World Series, will see Jenkins make his first appearance since sustaining a shoulder injury in the opening round on the Gold Coast in October 2012.
Australia coach Michael O'Connor said Jeknins would provide a boost to his young charges. "Ed's a player of tremendous experience and I have no doubt he'll lift the players," O'Connor said. "He has been out of action for quite a while, so it was important for us to get him some game time before Rugby World Cup Sevens."
Jenkins, who replaces Will Miller, is looking forward to his return to action after such a lengthy rest. "It's been tough watching most of the Series from the sidelines," Jenkins said. "A lot of guys have had to step up this season and they've done a great job, I'm just happy to be able to contribute to the team again."
Australia face South Africa, United States and France in the pool stage of the London Sevens.
Australia have played South Africa three times this season, losing 17-7 and 21-12 in Port Elizabeth and Hong Kong, respectively, while beating them 28-12 in Wellington. "South Africa are a very physical side," O'Connor said. "They had a slow start to season and have struggled with injury, but they turned things around and moved their way into second on the standings. There's no doubt they'll be tough."
The Australians have met and defeated the United States twice this season, 19-12 in Dubai and 26-7 in Las Vegas. "The USA are not to be underestimated," O'Connor said. "They might be ranked below us in the standings, but that doesn't mean a great deal in the World Series and they were good enough to keep their core status. We beat them at home earlier this year, so they'll definitely be gunning for us."
Australia have split their matches against France this season, with a 31-5 loss in Port Elizabeth and a 31-7 win in Tokyo. "France have speed, flair and physicality to match. They're always a handful and they've got some serious x-factor in their team," O'Connor said.
Australia: Cam Clark, Con Foley, Pama Fou, Allan Fa'alava'au, Jordan Tuapou, Peter Schuster, Ed Jenkins (captain), Lewis Holland, Nick Malouf, Sam Figg, Laloifi Junior Laloifi, James Stannard.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand