Enforced changes for Exeter Sevens

3 Jul 2018
The Swedish GP adventure has not had the best of luck so far. Players were injured for the first round in Moscow and three more had problems last week outside Paris. Sean Burke has a recurring calf problem, Fredrik Enstad had a hip problem and a nasty wisdom tooth and Jono Edwards had the misfortune to snap his Achilles heel in the final game against Spain. These three drop out this week along with Jesper Andersson. Further bad news is that Matt Mitchell, perhaps Sweden´s best player last year, is out for the season.

Four players out and five players in, as you are entitled to have a squad of 13 with a replacement for injuries. The team is as follows, with stars beside the newcomers:

Rickard Nunstedt
Björn Aloander
Fredric Austa*
Alfred Nordgren
Robin Fransson
Philip Murphy
Tobias Borg*
Neill Erasmus
Ian Gowland
Thomas Milner*
Axel Kalling-Smith*
Dustin Eaton
Sami Paulsson*

Austa (Södertälje), Borg (Norrköping) and Paulsson (Exiles) have all been in the Swedish Seven before, while Kalling-Smith and Milner, both based in England, have played for the Swedish XV. All decent players but I am more worried about their ability to play together as a team.
It is reasonable to assume that the other teams will maintain the same level as last week although some may be getting irritated that they keep getting beaten by Ireland and Germany. Sweden must get off the bottom spot if they are to have any hope of staying in the GP for 2019. On a very good error-free day there are 3 – 4 teams they could beat. We´ll see how it works out on Saturday.

Author: HM Sr