Injured Alex likely to miss rugby sevens in Sydney
WOLLONGBAR-Alstonville junior Alex Gibbon has returned home with an ankle injury after competing with the Australian team at the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand.
Gibbon was forced from the field before Australia lost its final game 19-17 against Kenya on Sunday.
He will likely miss the next round of competition in Sydney this weekend.
"We'll have a look at finalising the squad (for Sydney) on Wednesday,” coach Andy Friend said.
"But at the end of the day we'll have 12 fit players who will be very chuffed to play on their home soil in front of their family and friends.”
Gibbon, 24, has been lucky on the injury front throughout his career and made his Super Rugby debut off the bench for the Queensland Reds last year.
However, he was one of three players injured with Boyd Killingworth and Sam Myers failing to finish the tournament after suffering shoulder injuries.
Australia started the second day with a tight 17-14 win over Samoa, before accounting for Wales 24-10 to make the Challenge Trophy Final.
The injury-hit side fell at the final hurdle going down to Kenya 19-17 to finish Wellington in 10th position.
Gibbon did not play with the Australian team at the Olympic Games in Rio last year but has been part of the rebuilding phase since.
Former Lennox Head junior Sam Croke played in the Oceania Championships in November while Kyogle's Shannon Walker was granted a release from his contract in 2015.
"I was really impressed with the performance of the young guys and the whole team,” Friend said.
"Tenth is not what we want but there are some really good signs there moving forward.”