Andy Friend appointed Australia sevens coach

SYDNEY (AP) — Former ACT Brumbies coach Andy Friend has been appointed coach of the Australia rugby sevens team and will guide the side to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 46-year-old Friend, who has most recently been coaching Suntory Sungoliath in Japan's Top League, takes over from interim coach Scott Bowen who has led the side since Welshman Geraint Jones resigned unexpectedly in August.

Friend, who has agreed a 2 ½-year contract, said he believed the Australian team is "capable of beating any side in the world."

He said "I think they've got the Aussie 'never say die' attitude ... Physically, we're not going to match the Fijians or the New Zealanders. Our strength needs to be different."

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