Yool poised for historic Aussie 7s debut

Yool Yool is poised to become the first Sudanese-born rugby player to represent Australia, while Billy Meakes will also feature in the World Series opener.

BILLY MEAKES of the Rebels.
BILLY MEAKES of the Rebels. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

The dramatic regeneration of Australia's rugby sevens program will see a Sudanese refugee among eight debutants and another surprise addition for the World Series opener in Dubai.

Yool Yool, who moved to Australia when he was four years old, is poised to become the first Sudanese-born rugby talent to represent Australia in any format.

Former Melbourne Rebels flyer Billy Meakes, who recently won a Major League Rugby title alongside Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper with the LA Giltinis, will also make a surprise sevens return a decade after debuting at the same venue.

The 30-year-old, on loan from the Giltinis where he remains contracted, will join core program members Nick Malouf, Henry Hutchison, Maurice Longbottom and Josh Turner in Australia's first World Series appearance since 2000.

But that's where the familiarity ends for a squad fresh off a disappointing fifth place in Tokyo and subsequent program overhaul.

Tokyo Games bolter Dietrich Roach, Henry Paterson, Kristan Jensen, Ben Dowling, Solomone Vosaicake and Yool will all make their World Series debuts alongside Brumbies Academy players Jed Stuart and Corey Toole.

Stuart, 20, is the son of current Canberra Raiders NRL coach Ricky and the beneficiary of a new system that will see the men's sevens program provide opportunities to Australia's emerging Super Rugby talent and complement a streamlined full-time contracted list of sevens players.

Australia will play Canada, France and Fiji in their pool from Friday.

AUSTRALIAN MEN'S SEVENS SQUAD: Henry Hutchison, Solomone Vosaicake, Kristian Jensen, Dietrich Roache, Yool Yool, Henry Paterson, Joshua Turner, Ben Dowling, Billy Meakes, Nicholas Malouf, Maurice Longbottom, Jed Stuart, Corey Toole.