Two of Sydney University Football Club’s outstanding wingers of recent seasons have been selected in a 12-man Australian Sevens side to contest the Hottest7s tournament in Darwin this weekend.

Wingers Henry Clunies-Ross and Matthew Hood have been named in the squad for the two-day event which is one of the toughest non-World Series events of the year, featuring eight women’s teams and 32 men’s teams from across Australia and around the world.

“It’s a perfect way to start 2018 and then lead in to the Sydney leg of the 2017-18 Sevens World Series (January 26-28) and the Hamilton leg (in New Zealand on 3-4 February),” Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend said.

“It’s a great opportunity for the lads to go out and impress as there are a couple of positions still up for grabs for the Sydney Sevens squad.”

Both Clunies-Ross and Hood are products of the SUFC Colts program and former SUSF Elite Athlete Program members.

Clunies-Ross and Hood made their Australian Sevens debut last November in an Oceania Sevens match against Fiji in Suva. Clunies-Ross attended Trinity Grammar School where he captained the 1st XV before joining SUFC, where he played a starring role in the 1st Colts Premiership success of 2013.

After training with the Waratahs and the Gen Blue Under 20’s side for the 2014 pre-season, he returned to Sydney University to make the step up to grade rugby. It was an ominous debut season in First Grade. He was selected in the Shute Shield team of the Year and named the Shute Shield Rookie of the Year.

He played with the Sydney Stars in the inaugural NRC competition in 2015 and earned a place in the NSW Waratahs Extended Training Squad. Clunies-Ross suffered a badly broken ankle at the end of the 2015 season and since making a recovery has had seasons with Lyon in France and Southlands in New Zealand.

Hood made his World Rugby Sevens Series debut in the opening round of the 2017-18 series played in Dubai last December.

Also in the Australian squad for the Dubai tournament was SUFC teammate Ed Jenkins, Australia’s most capped Sevens player, who this week announced his retirement from the game because of a lingering shoulder injury.

Hood played in the Australian squad that won all eight matches at the Mackay Sevens tournament in August 2018. He then played at the Oktoberfest Sevens in Munich in September, the Oceania Sevens tournament in early November, and the Australian Universities Seven team contesting the National Sevens Championship in Adelaide prior to departing for Dubai.

A Master of Management student at Sydney University, Hood was awarded a Football Blue in 2017.