Morahan boosts Australia bid for Oceania gold

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 22 August 2012  
 Morahan boosts Australia bid for Oceania gold
Luke Morahan has already proved himself in the Sevens game

Wallaby Luke Morahan will make a welcome return to Rugby Sevens this weekend after a two-year absence from the newest of Olympic team sports.

Coach Michael O'Connor has named Morahan in his squad of 12 for the Oceania Sevens Championship at North Sydney Oval this weekend, which doubles as a qualifier for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played Sevens but I’m very excited and a little nervous,” said the Queensland Reds back.

“I really enjoyed the time I had in Sevens. I love the game, it’s great fun, so when the selectors came knocking it wasn’t hard for them to convince me to prepare for this tournament.

“Qualifying for the World Cup is a top priority, it’s not going to be easy but the guys are up for it.

“It’s certainly exciting to be involved with Sevens at the moment. With the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Olympics in the future there is certainly something very enticing about Rugby Sevens.”

RWC Sevens: Two places up for grabs

With New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa already qualified for the Moscow event next year on the strength of their RWC Sevens 2009 performances, two places remain up for grabs for the rest of the Oceania teams, with Australia up against the likes of Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands.

“There’s a good vibe in the side and good competition for positions, so preparation has been good,” said coach Michael O’Connor.

“A lot of the squad are from Sydney and we’ve been staying at Manly so there’s been a big build-up and everyone is looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd.”

Making his debut for Australia will be former New Zealand Sevens training squad member Matthew Blain, a loose forward currently plying his trade with Premier grade club side GPS of Brisbane.

Tickets to the Oceania Sevens Championship are just $15 for adults and $5 for children and available from or at the gate on the day.
Australia squad: Luke Morahan, Jesse Parahi, Will Miller, Jacob Taylor, Jordan Tuapou, Con Foley, Allan Faalavaau, Matthew Blain, Ed Jenkins (c), Matt Lucas, Dan Yakopo, Pama Fou.

Oceania Sevens Championships 2012 Draw

Saturday 25 August 2012
1. 11:00 – Papua New Guinea v Cook Islands (Pool A)
2. 11:22 – Samoa v Tahiti (Pool A)
3. 11:44 – Tonga v American Samoa (Pool B)
4. 12:06 – Australia v Solomon Islands (Pool B)
5. 12:37 – Papua New Guinea v Tahiti (Pool A)
6. 12:59 – Samoa v Cook Islands (Pool A)
7. 13:21 – Tonga v Solomon Islands (Pool B)
8. 13:43 – Australia v American Samoa (Pool B)
9. 14:14 – Cook Islands v Tahiti (Pool A)
10. 14:36 – Samoa v Papua New Guinea (Pool A)
11. 14:58 – American Samoa v Solomon Islands (Pool B)
12. 15:20 – Australia v Tonga (Pool B)

Sunday 26 August 2012
13. 11:00 – 1st Pool A v 4th Pool B
14. 11:22 – 2nd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
15. 11:44 – 3rd Pool A v 2nd Pool B
16. 12:06 – 4th Pool A v 1st Pool B
17. 12:37 – Loser Match 13 v Loser Match 15
18. 12:59 – Loser Match 14 v Loser Match 16
19. 13:21 – Winner Match 13 v Winner Match 15
20. 13:43 – Winner Match 14 v Winner Match 16
21. 14:14 – 7th v 8th playoff – Loser Match 17 v Loser Match 18
22. 14:36 – 5th v 6th playoff – Winner Match 17 v Winner Match 18
23. 14:58 – 3rd v 4th playoff – Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20
24. 15:20 – Final – Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20