Australia must sharpen a ruthless mindset to convert their talent to results at next weekend's Sevens World Cup in the United States.
That's the view taken by new coach Tim Walsh, who took over from predecessor Andy Friend in April and is now looking for the Australian men to over-achieve in San Francisco next week.
Unfinished business: Jesse Parahi has re-signed with the sevens program for two more years.
The Aussies finished a respectable fourth in this year's world series but will have to take their game to a new level in the sudden death format of a Sevens World Cup. They must win three consecutive matches to make the final, starting against the winner of a pre-round of 16 clash between France and Jamaica.
Walsh says it will be a good test of his side's "ruthlessness", a trait he has been working hard to cultivate within the playing group since his arrival.
"A lot of this team, from the outside looking in and now from the inside looking out, I want them to be more like men, mature and ruthless," Walsh said. "This is a combat game. It's not ruthlessness from a contact point of view but in your attitude. To get to the next job, to fight for that ball if it's a 50/50. It encompasses a lot of things. Ruthlessness to win, to be the best."
Boys to men: Henry Hutchison is part of coach Tim Walsh’s bid to give Australia a ruthless streak in men’s sevens.
Walsh is putting his stamp all over the team, re-signing Jesse Parahi and Tom Connor through til 2020 and bringing back former squad members Henry Hutchison and Nick Malouf.
Hutchison spent a frustrating season in Super Rugby, failing to crack the Rebels' 23, while Malouf was a hit at UK Premiership club Leicester for the past two years.
Walsh said both players had the hard edge he was looking for and would be better for their forays into the 15-a-side game. "When I looked at the team and thought 'I'd love to coach this team', there's certainly the foundations and talent, it's just taking that to the next level to be on the podium consistently, not just sporadically," he said.
"That takes resilience, maturity, ruthlessness with standards. Both Henry Hutchison and Nick Malouf bring a massive amount of experience but also a bit of ruthlessness and a point of difference. Coming from Leicester and the Rebels, they also bring a different professionalism, different learnings from those professional environments. It's maturity, really."
Australia name their men's and women's World Cup squads this week before flying to San Francisco on Saturday for a week's run-in to the tournament.
Meanwhile, women's coach John Manenti received a major boost with all players declared fit and available for selection on Monday, apart from Dom du Toit (collarbone).
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