Number's up for Henry Speight in sevens ... for now

Australia's Henry Speight during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Australia and Uruguay at Villa Park, Birmingham, England. Photo: AP Photo/Rui Vieira.
Australia's Henry Speight during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Australia and Uruguay at Villa Park, Birmingham, England. Photo: AP Photo/Rui Vieira.

AUSTRALIA interim sevens coach Tim Walsh says there will be more chances for Wallabies winger Henry Speight after his axing from the squad for the Olympic qualifiers in Auckland starting today.

The Brumbies flier was called in after the Rugby World Cup but missed the final cut after Walsh trimmed his squad from 15 to 12.

"It's a bit different for Henry coming in so quickly to understand sevens and the policies in the structures which we run," Walsh said.

"It's been just a great opportunity for Henry (at training) to understand sevens and get a look-in.

"He's been exceptional in not just his adaption to the team but in his role.

"He wants to be the best sevens player he can be.

"It's a credit to Henry in how he wants to be involved and really showcase his skills, which in good time he will."

The winner of the Oceania tournament, which finishes tomorrow, will qualify automatically for next year's Olympic Games in Brazil.

Australia missed out on automatic qualification for Rio after finishing fifth in the season-long IRB world series.

It will take on Nauru, the Cook Islands and Tonga in pool games today, while the other pool contains Samoa, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

Tomorrow the top-ranked pool A team will play the fourth-ranked pool B side in its first finals game, while the second-ranked pool A team will tackle the third-ranked pool B side, and so on.

The runners-up and third-placed side in the tournament will secure spots in the final Olympic qualification tournament against the equivalent teams from other regions.

The dates and venue for this tournament are yet to be confirmed.


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