Australian rugby sevens team members Sharni Williams, Lewis Holland and Shannon Parry at the teams announcement for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, in Sydney on March 15.
Australian rugby sevens team members Sharni Williams, Lewis Holland and Shannon Parry at the teams announcement for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, in Sydney on March 15. BRENDAN ESPOSITO

Aussie men's sevens lose skipper

THE Australian men's sevens team has been dealt a major blow ahead of the Commonwealth Games, with captain Lewis Holland ruled out of the tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Holland picked up the injury in Vancouver two weekends ago and it was initially thought he'd miss only four weeks, which would have allowed him to play in the Games next month.

But scans showed hamstring tendon damage that could put him out for up to 10 weeks.

It is a bitter blow for Holland - although he will be available for the World Cup in July - after also suffering a hamstring injury midway through the 2016 Olympic Games and spending most of last year on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles injury.

It is also a blow for the young Aussie team after the loss of former skipper Ed Jenkins to an injury-forced retirement earlier this year.

Australian coach Andy Friend stressed the importance of Holland (pictured) at the recent Commonwealth Games squad announcement.

"He is so instrumental for us as a group, not only his football, his football is fantastic, but just as a leader and as a person he's crucial for us," Friend said.

"So we are fingers crossed he's going to be right. If he's not, then our other leaders are going to have to step up and will have to fill that void.

"But we are confident he's going to be right."



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