Graham Croker
The late call-up of halfback Nicholas Phipps to the Australian Sevens squad – for injured playmaker James Stannard – sees Sydney University providing six players for the opening two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series.
Phipps, who played in the past two premiership-winning First Grade Colts teams, will join fellow Sydney University Football Club members Patrick McCutcheon, Bernard Foley, Ed Jenkins, Clinton Sills and Jacob Taylor in the 12-man squad for the Dubai tournament on December 4-5 and the South African leg in George on December 12-13.
Australian Sevens coach Michael O’Connor has elected to persevere with his youth policy, naming rookie Phipps as the 11th debutant in his 18-man squad which will be captained by McCutcheon, one of the form backrowers in the Sydney Shute Shield competition this season.
Winger Nick Edwards, a teammate of McCutcheon’s in the 2009 Shute Shield premiership team, has been selected to represent the United States at the Dubai tournament. The 25-year-old commerce/law graduate has played with Sydney University throughout his Colts and grade career.
Australian Sevens team for Dubai: Robbie Coleman, Bernard Foley, Shaun Foley, Talalelei Gray, Zack Holmes, Brackin Karauria-Henry, Patrick McCutcheon (captain), Nicholas Phipps, Edward Quirk, Brian Sefanaia, Clinton Sills and Jacob Taylor.
Australian Sevens 18-man squad for the IRB Sevens World Series: Willie Bishop, Robbie Coleman, Mitchell Felsman, Bernard Foley, Shaun Foley, Liam Gill, Talalelei Gray, Zack Holmes, Ed Jenkins, Brackin Karauria-Henry, Patrick McCutcheon (captain), Nicholas Phipps, Edward Quirk, Brian Sefanaia, Dominic Shipperley, Clinton Sills, Kimami Sitauti, Jacob Taylor.
Meanwhile, SUFC second-rower Dean Mumm, flanker Dave Dennis and halfback Luke Burgess will return this week from the Wallabies Spring tour of the British Isles.
After captaining Australia in a mid-week win over Gloucestershire, Mumm forced his way into the run-on side for Australia’s 33-12 win over Wales at Millennium Stadium at the weekend. He was on the bench – along with Burgess – for the win over England, the draw with Ireland and the loss to Scotland in the other three Tests. Dennis played in both mid-week wins on the tour.