Graham Croker

Sydney University Football Club will provide three of the 12-man squad to contest the Rugby Sevens at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi in October.

Flanker Pat McCutcheon, 23, halfback Nick Phipps, 21, and five-eighth Bernard Foley, 20, have been included in the squad, with McCutcheon also named as captain.

The squad, coached by former dual rugby international Michael O’Connor, includes Wallabies winger Lachie Turner, Super 14 Rookie of the Year Pat McCabe, Western Force winger Nick Cummins and Wallabies 2009 Spring tourist Luke Morahan as four fresh faces in a team of Sevens campaigners who competed during the recent 2010 IRB Sevens World Series.

NSW Waratahs recruit McCutcheon reassumes the Sevens captaincy after missing the final two legs of the 2010 Sevens World Series to compete in the Super 14 finals.

He was involved with the national squad during June alongside Turner and Cummins, playing two mid-week games for the Australian Barbarians against England.

McCutcheon is a product of St Josephs College in Sydney. He represented Australia at both Schoolboy (2005) and Under 19 (2006) levels and was a member of Sydney University’s premiership-winning team in 2009.

Foley represented CAS in 2006 and 2007 and NSW Schoolboys in 2007) before enrolling at the University of Sydney. He has been an Australian Sevens member for the past two seasons.

Phipps, who captained the premiership-winning Sydney University Colts in 2009, ran in three tries during this year’s World Sevens Series and made 10 drop-goal conversions to finish the season with 35 points. He has signed with the Melbourne Rebels for their inaugural Super 15 season, when he will link up with former Sydney University mentor Damian Hill.

The Australian squad has a chance to create history if they can finish with gold or silver in Delhi. as Australia has not won a Rugby Sevens medal at the Commonwealth Games since securing bronze in 1998 when the sport was first granted entry in Kuala Lumpur.

Australia has been drawn alongside arch rivals England in the pools. They will also take on Namibia and Sri Lanka in Pool D.

Coach O’Connor said the squad should be very competitive. “Three-quarters of this squad is from this year’s Sevens Series and they’ve tasted good success, they’ve got good experience and solid combinations,” he said.

“I’ve been able to keep the nucleus of the team together and the four that have come in have been brought in to enhance the side. I think they have the attributes which tick all of the right boxes.”

Australia’s Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens team:

Robbie Coleman (20, NSW)
Nick Cummins (22, WA)
Bernard Foley (20, NSW)
Liam Gill (18, QLD)
Pat McCabe (22, NSW)
Pat McCutcheon (23, NSW)
Luke Morahan (20, QLD)
Nick Phipps (21, NSW)
Brian Sefanaia (24, NSW)
Kimami Sitauti (19, QLD)
James Stannard (27, ACT)
Lachie Turner (23, NSW)