Rebuilding Aussies put faith in youth for world series

Australian rugby sevens coach Andy Friend.
Australian rugby sevens coach Andy Friend. PAUL MILLER

RUGBY SEVENS: Coach Andy Friend is excited by the new-look Australian men's team he will have at his disposal for the opening round of the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai, starting today.

After missing the medals at the Rio Olympics, the Aussies are hoping youth fires them to their first world title.

Sam Caslick, the older brother of reigning women's international player of the year Charlotte, joins fellow rookies Michael Adams, Simon Kennewell, Charlie Taylor and Tim Anstee in the 12-man squad.

"This is an exciting period for this young group of guys after an intense pre-season,” Friend said. "This group is showing real potential with a lot of young players really putting their hand up for future opportunities.”

Cameron Clark (Waratahs), Pama Fou (Rebels) and Tom Cusack (Brumbies) have all headed to Super Rugby, Henry Speight has returned to the Wallabies, Nick Cummins is busy with his menswear business and captain Lewis Holland is out injured.

Australia faces Japan (3.22pm AEST), France (6.22pm) and Kenya (12.22am) in day one pool games.

Topics:  andy friend

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