Speight left out of Aussie sevens outfit

One Henry will make his international sevens debut as Australia chases an Olympic spot this weekend but it won’t be Wallabies flyer Henry Speight.

Speight has been overlooked for the Thunderbolts’ 12-man team to play the eight-nation qualifying tournament in Auckland with teenage tyro Henry Hutchison preferred.

The 18-year-old Randwick winger has quickly impressed coach Tim Walsh with his speed, firepower and defence to be the only new face for the two-day Oceania qualifier.

Speight had been a surprise call-up to a 15-man squad this week to travel across the Tasman but rather than playing he’ll be getting a close-quarters look at the game he wants to play at the Rio Games.

The Brumbies winger will now have to wait until the World Series tournament in Sydney in February for his Thunderbolts debut.

Walsh said Speight, to be released for three World Series tournaments next year, would gain a valuable insight this week merely through training and watching.

“It’s a bit hard for Henry coming in so quickly to understand sevens and the structures on the run,” he said.

Halfback Tom Lucas has also been left on the sidelines with a hamstring problem but game-breaking star Cam Clark returns from injury for the world No.5-ranked Australians.

Samoa loom as the Thunderbolts biggest obstacles in the tournament where Australia has drawn Tonga, Cook Islands and Nauru in Saturday’s pool games.

Australia: Ed Jenkins (capt), Cameron Clark, Tom Cusack, Allan Fa’alava’au, Con Foley, Pama Fou, Lewis Holland, Henry Hutchison, Greg Jeloudev, Jesse Parahi, James Stannard, Michael Wells.

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