Chris Latham has likened a Commonwealth Games gold medal to World Cup glory after being picked for the Aussie Sevens squad. It gets the stand-up comedian award.
Latham, along with Lote Tuquri, Matt Giteau and Scott Fava will strengthen an Aussie side that has been as dismal in Sevens as the test side were under Eddie Moans.
A delighted Latham told the Aus media: “If you win that gold medal it stacks up pretty high. You’ve obviously got the World Cup and that’s the pinnacle of rugby in general but, like I said, there’s not too many professional rugby players that get that opportunity; one, to play in a Commonwealth Games and then two, to win a gold medal. It’s certainly going to sit up very highly if not with a World Cup.”
Latham, whose Reds don’t play the weekend of March 16 and 17, when the Commonwealth Sevens is contested in Melbourne, added: “I expressed a lot of interest in wanting to play and it was pretty much just a matter of the formalities of everything getting done and the Super 14 franchises in Australia releasing their players. I think it’s a credit to the franchises to be able to release the guys in which (coach) Glen (Ella) and the selectors had wanted to play in the team.”
Tuqiri has not missed a Vodacom Super 12 (now Super 14) match since switching from league to union, but this will change when he goes for Sevens gold.
New Zealand has also strengthened their squad by picking five Super 14 franchise players, among them All Blacks winger Doug Howlett.
South Africa, currently third on the IRB World Series Sevens table, have not finalised their squad.