IRB Sevens- Australia at full strength again.
Australia Sevens coach Michael O'Connor has welcomed the timely return of four key players from injury for the final legs of the IRB Sevens World Series in London and Edinburgh at the end of this month.
Regulars Ed Quirk, Liam Gill, Kimami Sitauti, Robbie Coleman and Dominic Shipperley have all been selected for David Nucifora's Under 20s squad for the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina in June after eye-catching performances on the Series this season.
In their places Bernard Foley and Clinton Sills are back after recovering from injuries sustained in Las Vegas in February, while seasoned Sevens campaigners Nick Phipps and Ed Jenkins return following long spells on the sidelines.
Debutants Daniel Yakopo and Jesse Parahi complete the squad, with O'Connor looking to also use the final two legs of the 2009/10 Series to blood some new talent.
"This time last year we trialled some guys to try to increase the player pool, and it proved worthwhile, with Patrick McCutcheon and James Stannard going on to be regular players this year," explained O'Connor.
"We've got a couple of new faces in Yakopo and Parahi but also some key experience returning to the team. With a lot of the players away with the 20s, it opens up opportunities for other players to step up."
Australia come into the Emirates Airline London Sevens on 22-23 May lying fourth in the standings after a Plate final victory over reigning IRB Sevens World Series champions South Africa in Hong Kong took their tally to 78 points.
Battle for fourth in Pool D
However, last year Australia lost to Portugal in the Plate semi finals at Twickenham, and they will be looking to improve on that outcome if they want to secure their best Series finish since 2002.
With hosts England just four points behind them there could be an enthralling final Pool D match between the two teams, although James Stannard believes the Australian squad is strong enough with Sills adding some extra fire power out wide.
"I think we're a big chance in London, we've got a strong squad and with Phippsy and Foley coming back and with the speed that Sills has out wide, we're a really good chance," said Stannard.
"Our season really comes down to this tournament, England are pretty close behind us and you've got to think they'll be a real threat at their home tournament. I guess we have to want it more than them. We're not far off."
In Sills' absence Brackin Karauria-Henry, who recently made his Super 14 debut, will be looking to add to his try tally of 21 in Australia's other Pool D matches against 2009 London Sevens Cup semi finalists Scotland and Russia.
The weekend after the London leg will see Australia face England again on day one of the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens at Murrayfield, with Canada and Portugal their other Pool C opponents.
Australian Sevens squad for London and Edinburgh: Patrick McCutcheon (capt), James Stannard, Nick Phipps, Jacob Taylor, Brackin Karauria-Henry, Bernard Foley, Ed Jenkins, Ed Stubbs, Jesse Parahi, Daniel Yakopo, Clinton Sills, Sam Latunipulu.