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SVNS star Henry Hutchison ‘jumping out of his skin’ after 12-month injury spell

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

Playing in front of a packed house at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium 12 months ago, Australian SVNS star Henry Hutchison tried to play through the pain before leaving the field injured.

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It was immediately clear that Hutchison had sustained a serious injury at the Sydney Sevens, and the Australia sevens sides’ fears were proved true shortly after.

Hutchison, who had captained Australia during the Sydney leg, had to go under the knife after picking up significant injuries to his right knee and left ACL.

Speaking with RugbyPass and Rugby.com.au in February, Hutchison also confirmed that he’d sprained his wrist and broken several ribs during the Hamilton Sevens just a week before Sydney.

But 12 months on, Hutchison is finally nearing a return to the new-look SVNS Series. Australia will run out in front of their home fans in just over a fortnight, and Hutchison is in the mix.

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Australia men’s coach John Manenti revealed the 26-year-old had a chance of playing at the Cape Town SVNS last month before the team decided to take a “conservative” approach.

“He was touch and go for the last tournament and we ended up more on the conservative side and left him out but he’s jumping out of his skin to get back out and play,” Manenti told Rugby.com.au.

“He’ll make a big difference just lightening up some of the stuff for Nick and he gives us another strong leader out on the field and an experienced player so really looking forward to having him back.

“It’s going to be tough for him because he trained for so long but it’s 12 months since his last game and it’ll be in a World Series tournament but he’s such a professional about his preparation and getting it right.”

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The Australian men’s sevens team will look to go one better next time out after falling in the final to a red-hot Argentina outfit in Cape Town.

Australia opened their title quest in the Western Cape with a 20-point win over Samoa, but things took an ugly turn as they were caught on the wrong side of a cricket score against New Zealand.

But the men in gold let their actions do the talking as they bounced back with a final pool play win over Canada and then beating hometown favourites South Africa in the quarters.

Australia booked their ticket to the decider with a 24-7 win over traditional SVNS heavyweights Fiji.

“We were pretty terrible against New Zealand yesterday but we learned a lot from it,” coach Manenti told RugbyPass in Cape Town.

“It’s a group that’s resilient and we’re learning from our mistakes.

“Last week (in Dubai) we weren’t fantastic either and we had a couple of decent performances yesterday but obviously we had to come out this morning and beat South Africa here which was tough.

“We’re running on empty – the boys are running on empty but I’m sure the emotion will get them up and just find one more performance.”

But the team that was “running on empty” couldn’t hold off Los Pumas Sevens in the decider. The Aussies were visibly disappointed, but now they have a chance to make amends.

Starting on January 26, the Aussies will begin their quest for Cup final glory when they run out in front of their home fans at Perth’s HBF Park.

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