Olympics calling?: Son of a gun called up for Singapore Sevens, Walsh loses gun experienced duo in test of depth


Barely used throughout Super Rugby, Junior Wallabies skipper Teddy Wilson has the chance to push for Olympics selection after being named in John Manenti’s side for the Singapore Sevens early next month.

Wilson, 21, has been limited to just four matches for the Waratahs this season with Darren Coleman leaning heavily on captain Jake Gordon and returning halfback Jack Grant.

But his frustrations could turn into something gold, with Manenti calling up Wilson for the penultimate round of the World Series Sevens after injuries to Maurice Longbottom (hamstring) and Matthew Gonzalez (shoulder).

Junior Wallabies skipper Teddy Wilson will make his Australian sevens debut in Singapore. (Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

Fit as a fiddle, Wilson, who is the son of Wallabies great David, has all the ingredients to transition quickly to the game.

Indeed, Wilson loves to run the ball, has a left-foot and is one of the better defensive halfbacks in Australian rugby, the move could prove a masterstroke from Manenti.

Wilson is one of two changes to the side, with teenager Jack McGregor also called up for his second tournament.

It comes off the back of a strong display in the Hong Kong 10s earlier this month.

Former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has also been selected, with the breakaway needing to get as many minutes into his legs to push for selection at the Paris Olympics.

“As the tournaments roll around, they all become more significant in one way or another,” Manenti said.

“For us, the chance to play consistently remains a key focus. There were heaps of positives to take from Hong Kong and on a short turnaround we’ve worked on a few areas to improve on for Singapore.

“On the back of a few injury niggles, we get to welcome Teddy Wilson from the Waratahs into the squad for his debut.

“We are grateful to the Waratahs to give us the opportunity to play Teddy and know that he will fit right in with the team.

“We also welcome back for his second cap, Jimmy McGregor. He was the standout player in the recent Hong Kong 10s tournament when playing with the PAC BaaBaas and has been training fulltime with us for the past six months.

“The rest of the squad remain the same, with ‘Hoops’ getting further exposure after handling Hong Kong well.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s women’s coach Tim Walsh will get a real test of their depth as they head to Singapore without veterans Charlotte Caslick and Sharni Smale.

Dominique Du Toit returns from an ankle injury in a timely boost while Lily Dick and Sidney Taylor are the fresh faces in the squad with Bienne Terita also unavailable.

Charlotte Caslick (L) will miss the Singapore Sevens, with Madison Ashby (R) to captain the side. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

But the loss of playmaker Caslick and forward Smale will test Walsh’s side, who are chasing their first tournament win of the year after bursting out of the blocks in Dubai and Cape Town late last year.

The loss of the two leaders sees Madison Ashby take over the captaincy, with the playmaker needed to step up and keep her discipline after a second red card this season in Hong Kong.

“We are after a performance in Singapore as we prepare for the final event in Madrid and the Olympics in July,” Walsh said.

“We are equal top on competition points with New Zealand, which makes for a Singapore showdown, and watching France beat them in Hong Kong at their peak makes for a very competitive last couple of tournaments.

“Madison Ashby will captain the team in Charlotte Caslick’s absence and both Bridget Clark and Ruby Nicholas will play in their second cap in Singapore.”

Walsh’s side start their campaign against Brazil on Friday at 2:30pm, before clashing with Great Britain at 8:05pm. They meet Fiji in their third and final pool match on May 4 at 2:50pm.

Australia Women’s Sevens team for Singapore SVNS:

Lily DickFaith NathanDominique Du ToitTeagan LeviMadison Ashby (c)Kaitlin ShaveTia HindsBella NasserMaddison LeviBridget ClarkRuby NicholasSariah PakiSidney Taylor

Australia Men’s Sevens team for Singapore SVNS:

Henry HutchisonBen DowlingHenry PalmerDietrich RoacheHenry PatersonNick Malouf (c)Nathan LawsonJames TurnerJames McGregorHayden SargeantTeddy WilsonMichael HooperMichael Icely


Pool C

Friday, May 3

Australia v Brazil – 2:30pm (AEST)
Australia v Great Britain – 8:05pm (AEST)

Saturday, May 4

Australia v Fiji – 2:50pm (AEST)


Pool A

Friday, May 3

Australia v Argentina – 4:42pm (AEST)
Australia v Canada – 10:14pm (AEST)

Saturday, May 4

Australia v New Zealand – 5:12pm (AEST)

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