Aussies look to cover O'Donnell's 7s loss

Murray Wenzel
Rugby sevens star Ben O'Donnell will need surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear

Australian playmaker Lewis Holland is confident his side has the depth to cover Ben O'Donnell's absence after confirmation of a serious knee injury placed the star centre's Olympic aspirations in doubt.

The 24-year-old was injured in last weekend's New Zealand world series leg and will need surgery after scans confirmed an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

The side's Tokyo campaign begins on July 27, with the less-common LARS surgery the only option to get one of the world's most damaging sevens players up and running in time to feature.

Regardless, Holland has seen enough from a growing squad to suggest they can build on their third-place finish last weekend, starting at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta on Saturday.

The Sydney Sevens will be the side's first chance to show they can cope without one of their best players.

But Henry Hutchison, Lachie Miller, Josh Turner and Luke Morahan, who only joined the squad on release from Bristol last week, are all capable of shifting to fill the void.

"We've got plenty of arsenal there that can slide in (from the wing) or blokes in the centres can slide out," Holland said.

No stranger to untimely injures, Holland had his Rio Olympic campaign stopped on day one of competition and his 2018 Commonwealth Games scrapped altogether thanks to hamstring injuries.

"Benny was just starting to get back into his true form, so it's a massive disappointment for the team and Benny," Holland said.

"We have to do a job and represent him, get some good results and that will make things a little bit easier."

Replaced as captain by Nick Malouf this year, Holland said he wouldn't change his game as result.

"I play in the centre of the park, so call most of the plays and (control) the general tempo of the game," he said.

"I'll stick true to who I am ... I'm still very passionate about this team, want it to be very successful, so I'm not going to sit back and not do anything."

Australia begins its home world series tournament with games against Japan and Scotland on Saturday, before converted sprinter Trae Williams gets his chance to dethrone United States flyer Carlin Isles as the code's fastest man on Sunday.