Sydney University Football Club has two players in the extended 15-man Australian Men’s Sevens squad to contest the Oceania Regional Olympic Qualifier in Auckland on November 14-15.
Ed Jenkins has returned as skipper of the side, which includes Sydney University teammate Greg Jeloudev. SUFC’s other Sevens representative Pat McCutcheon is recovering from a hamstring injury and was not included in the squad.
Australian Sevens coach Tim Walsh said the lure of an Olympic Games berth has all squad members ready to deliver.
“We have prepared well having played a very valuable series against New Zealand in Rotorua followed by a solid performance at the Central Coast Sevens,” he said.
“Training standards have been high and every squad member continues to challenge one another which has culminated in a stronger team.
“We have a belief that we will perform and gain us the desired result. However, with a spot at the Rio Olympics on the line in Auckland, we are under no illusion that now is the time to deliver.
“For us, it is all process and executing under pressure as there are seven other teams looking to fulfil their own Olympic dream. The Pacific Island nations are known for their passion for rugby and in particular Sevens so we can expect a lot of physicality.”
Australia is in Pool A and will play Nauru, Cook Islands and Tonga on day one at Trusts Arena in Waitakere (Auckland). Pool B, meanwhile, will feature Samoa, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa and the Solomon Islands.
All competing teams will progress to finals day and seeded according to their final pool placing – for example: 1st in Pool A will play 4th in Pool B, 2nd in Pool A will play 3rd in Pool B.
Only the winning team at the Oceania Regional Olympic Qualifier will secure a spot in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The runners-up and third-placed side in the tournament will secure spots in the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament at a date to be announced.