Qantas Australian Men's Sevens interim Head Coach Tim Walsh has praised his charges after a successful tour of New Zealand.
Players and staff returned to Sydney this afternoon having been away for seven days to continue their preparation ahead of November's Oceania Regional Qualifying Tournament in Auckland and challenge themselves against a world-class New Zealand outfit on their own territory.
"As I mentioned before we went to New Zealand, this tour was more about performance over results," said Walsh.
"To play against a team with the ability of New Zealand was extremely useful as we continue our preparation for November. It was important that the players followed the correct processes that will ultimately see them in the best possible shape for that tournament."
Three of the six games played in Rotorua featured players in the development team and wider squad members with the other three games featuring the core group of national Sevens players.
Both Australian and New Zealand management agreed prior that, for the games involving the core members of the respective squads, they would mock Olympic scenarios - for example, a Cup Quarter-Final, Cup Semi-Final and a gold medal match.
Walsh added: "Over the course of the six games, everyone from the development players to the core group made fantastic progress. The tour allowed us the opportunity to review performance on and off the field. There was a good vibe among the group, the attitude was spot on and I was impressed with the leadership group.
"I would like to thank the Sevens staff at New Zealand Rugby for being very hospitable and excellent hosts for the past week."
Preparation for Rio starts for the All Blacks Sevens
The All Blacks Sevens team has started its preparations for next year's Rio Olympics in earnest.
The squad has replicated the hour long journey it'll face from the Olympic village to the venue in Rio, during its a recent six-game series against Australia in Rotorua.
Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said the players will need to take extra responsibility with their post-game recovery.
He said the travel took a lot out of the players both mentally and physically and they noted that things became a lot harder after day one and two.
For the record, the All Black Sevens won four out of the six games, with the Aussies taking the honours in two of the three games involving the core groups of players.
Qantas Australian Men's Sevens squad for tour to New Zealand:
- Pama Fou
- Lewis Holland
- Henry Hutchison
- Greg Jeloudev
- Ed Jenkins
- Tom Lucas
- Pat McCutcheon
- Sam Myers
- Afa Pakalani
- Jesse Parahi
- Peter Schuster
- James Stannard
- Stephan Van Der Walt
- Michael Wells
- Tom Connor (uncontracted - NSW Development)
- Sean Cox (uncontracted - Queensland Development)
- Fred Durrough (uncontracted - Queensland Development)
- James Perlowski (uncontracted - NSW Development)
- John Porch (uncontracted - NSW Development)