Parahi named as skipper for Commonwealth Games

Photo: AJF Photography

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Jesse Parahi has been announced as the new Australian Men’s Sevens captain for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

The 28-year-old, who made his Sevens debut in the green and gold all the way back in 2010, takes up the reins following the unfortunate off-field incident last week that ruled out James Stannard, who in turn had taken over when regular skipper Lewis Holland suffered an injury.

“It’s been a strange feeling to take the role of captaincy in such difficult circumstances for ‘Chucky’, but I am honoured to be given the chance to captain my country,” said Parahi.

“For us as a team there’s a real sense that we want to do it for James who would have been playing in his third Commonwealth Games. This adversity has bonded us closer together and we’ll rise to the challenge when we run out on the Gold Coast in front of a home crowd.” 

Four years ago in Glasgow, the Men’s Sevens came away with a Bronze Medal. But their recent form on the World Series has given good reason for optimism of even greater reward this time on the Gold Coast.

Head coach Andy Friend has had a difficult few days trying to juggle the concerns for popular stricken team member Stannard, whilst also overseeing preparation for the Games, with Australia’s pool matches in just 10 days time.

But he is relieved for Stannard’s well-being, happy with the promotion of Parahi, and driven to help his team succeed when the time comes.

“The last few days have been very tough for the whole squad, but we are relieved that James is back home with his family where he can rest,” he said.

“Jesse has accepted the role of captain with great humility. He’s very aware that his opportunity to lead the team has come about due to the misfortunes of both Lewis and James, but this does not diminish his own leadership qualities and standing within the team. He is a man of outstanding character and I know that he will lead this team with great energy at the Commonwealth Games. 

“The team has rallied together really well, and we are focused 100 percent on our preparation for the tournament.” 

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Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games:
Lachlan Anderson*, 13 caps, Eastwood NSW
Timothy Anstee*, 16 caps, Eastwood NSW
Thomas Connor*, 4 caps, Warringah NSW
Boyd Killingworth*, 16 caps, Warringah NSW
Maurice Longbottom*, 4 caps, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team
Thomas Lucas, 23 caps, Sunnybank QLD
Samuel Myers, 32 caps, Norths NSW
Benjamin O’Donnell*, 6 caps, Randwick NSW
Jesse Parahi (c), 39 caps, Norths NSW
John Porch*, 15 caps, Norths NSW
Brandon Quinn*, 6 caps, Gordon NSW
Charlie Taylor*, 11 caps, Manly NSW
*Commonwealth Games debut
** An additional player will be named in the squad at the conclusion of the Hong Kong Sevens.

Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures on the Gold Coast on Saturday 14 April:
Australia v Samoa, Pool B
Australia v Jamaica, Pool B
Australia v England, Pool B

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