Wallaby Kerevi earns Olympic 7s shot

·2-min read

Samu Kerevi is the big addition to Australia's men's rugby sevens team that will hunt a medal at this month's Tokyo Olympics while Ellia Green has been dropped for the women's title defence.

The 33-Test Wallabies centre Kerevi only joined the program two weeks ago, impressing at last week's Oceania Sevens to punch his ticket.

The former Queensland Reds captain's move to Japan ruled him ineligible to continue playing for the Wallabies, with his last Tests coming at the 2019 World Cup.

But he will forgo an off-season to make his official national sevens debut in Tokyo alongside fellow uncapped speedsters Dietrich Roache and Henry Paterson.

Captain Nick Malouf and Henry Hutchison are the only survivors from the side that played in the sport's debut in Rio five years ago, while former 100m sprinter Trae Williams is a notable omission.

Former captain Lewis Holland (hamstring) also missed the 12-man squad, but could be selected as the emergency 13th man which is yet to be announced.

Australia have drawn heavyweights New Zealand, Argentina and South Korea in their pool.

Australia's women have hosts Japan, United States and China in their pool and will defend their Rio gold medal without key pair Chloe Dalton (cheekbone) and Emilee Cherry (recently retired).

But they'll be anchored by co-captains Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry, while Charlotte Caslick, Emma Tonegato and Evania Pelite will look to add to their silverware.

Powerhouse Ellia Green is the big omission though, coach John Manenti including 19-year-old bolter Maddison Levi.

Manenti labelled Green's omission the "toughest decision of his life" but said her form didn't demand selection after she had returned from injury.

Green's brutal defence and raw speed in attack had seen her feature on many highlight reels.

A former dancer, teenager Levi was playing AFLW for Gold Coast earlier this year but credits her brush with Australia's sevens golden girls after their Rio success for steering her towards the sport.

"As coaches, we have selected the best performing squad, and while some decisions were tough, ultimately we have selected a team which will put us in the best position to perform," he said.

"Playing last weekend has been great preparation ahead of Tokyo, game time is always important and it gave us an opportunity to get that.

"There is a good combination of youth and experience within the team, but this is a new team and we'll be looking to write our own Olympic chapter."

Australia women's rugby sevens Olympic squad: Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Faith Nathan, Dominique Du Toit, Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite, Charlotte Caslick, Madison Ashby, Tia Hinds, Sariah Paki, Demi Hayes, Maddison Levi.

Australia men's sevens: Lachlan Anderson, Joe Pincus, Dylan Pietsch, Nick Malouf, Henry Paterson, Maurice Longbottom, Joshua Coward, Joshua Turner, Lachlan Miller, Samu Kerevi, Dietrich Roache, Henry Hutchison.

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