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'He looked pretty sore': Aussie captain 'unlikely' to return this weekend

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Australian Men’s Sevens team have been dealt a major blow ahead of their quarterfinal clash with France, with captain Henry Hutchison “unlikely” to return.

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Head Coach John Manenti believes Hutchison is “unlikely” to return to the hallowed turf of Allianz Stadium this weekend after he was helped from the field against Argentina.

Hutchison left the field early in the second-half with what appeared to be a leg injury, and Manenti later suggested that it was his knee – which was already taped up.

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While Manenti said that he doesn’t know for sure how significant the injury is, the champion coach did say that Hutchison “looked pretty sore.”

“I don’t know, it’s his knee. I don’t know but he looked pretty sore,” Manenti told reporters.

“Unlikely for the rest of the weekend I would think. He’s a pretty tough bloke, at half-time he said it was bothering him but he wanted to go on and then he went one play and basically went down.”

The 2015/16 World Series Rookie of the Year quickly became a core part of the Australian Men’s Sevens program, and his absence will leave a big void in the heart of that team.

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But there’s an opportunity for another player to stand up.

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“He’s been unbelievable for us. It’s a real opportunity now for other blokes to step up and he’s been immense,” he added.

But the show must go on.

For Australia, their 29-10 win over Argentina has set up a meeting with France in the quarterfinals on Saturday evening.

France won their first two matches here in Sydney, before going down to Fiji 19-12 in a thriller.

“They’re a big, physical side. They match up pretty well against us on the back of their size and height, so we’re gonna have to be really smart about how we play them.

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“I probably wouldn’t mind playing in that heat again… it would’ve been nice to play in that I reckon.”

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