Schoolboy sensation Dylan Pietsch named for Aussie 7s debut in Wellington
Video: Henry Schofield - SCHOPE
Former Sydney schoolboy star Dylan Pietsch will make his Australian Sevens debut in Wellington this weekend alongside fellow debutant Tate McDermott.
Pietsch was a standout for Kings in Sydney's GPS competition last year and was picked in the NSW Schools and Australian Barbarians side in his final year.
Pietsch and McDermott are two of five changes to the squad that finished 11th in Cape Town last month.
Former captain Ed Jenkins will sit out the Wellington event after injuring his shoulder in Cape Town last month while forward Jesse Parahi succumbed to a jaw injury at training.
Parahi joins Nick Malouf (knee), John Porch (ankle) and Tom Lucas (knee) amongst those not considered for selection but all four are expected to return to full training ahead of the Las Vegas leg in March. Skipper Lewis Holland continues his achilles rehabilitation ahead of a return next season.
“Both Tate and Dylan performed well up at Darwin on the weekend, they really stood out and now they get a chance to represent their country," Australian coach Andy Friend said.
“Dylan’s quite a big bloke for an 18-year old, he’s got a good step on him and a good carry of the football. Momentum is his friend, he’s a powerful boy.
“Tate is more of a half, he’s sees the game of football and has very good feet on him to put people through holes and he can get through holes himself as well.”
Australia have been drawn in Pool B alongside South Africa, Japan
and Olympic Gold Medallists Fiji but are keeping one eye on their home tournament in Sydney the following weekend.
“The important thing for us is to get out of that third tier of teams. We finished 11th in our last tournament and we have put ourselves in a very tough pool, so we have to fight and get out of that.
“Sydney is our target tournament this year and it’s our home tournament. It’s Australia playing in Australia so it’s very exciting but in saying that, we have to go to Wellington and do a job there. We know Sydney is around the corner but Wellington is the main focus right now.”
Australian Men’s Sevens squads for Wellington Sevens:
Henry Hutchison (Randwick), Tom Kingston (Sydney Uni), Sam Myers (Norths), Alex Gibbon (Souths), James Stannard (Souths), Tate McDermott (UQ), Boyd Killingworth (Warringah), Dylan Pietsch (Randwick), Tim Anstee (Eastwood), Michael Adams (Warringah), Charlie Taylor(Warringah) (Conor Mitchell, UQ). 13th man: Simon Kennewell (Randwick).