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Australia falter in Dubai Sevens, lose to England in Shield semi-final

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The Qantas Men's Sevens fell short of expectations at the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit, after losing out to England in the Shield semifinal on Day 2 of the Dubai Sevens.

Entering the tournament with four debutants and a slew of players sidelined due to injury, the Qantas Men's Sevens faltered in the pool stage with just one win against United States, 19-12, before tying Canada 28-28 and losing 7-0 to France.

Day 2 saw the team fall 29-14 to Scotland in the Bowl quarter-final, sending them to the Shield semifinal to meet England.

The Australians managed just two tries in the Shield semi, suffering a 40-12 loss to England, who went on to win the Shield final 26-5 over Spain.

Qantas Men's Sevens coach Michael O'Connor admitted his young side had struggled.

"We started okay but we just ran out of steam, just mentally between the ears," O'Connor said.

Injury played a major role in selections leading up to the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, as the Qantas Men's Sevens were forced to compete without injured forwards Ed Jenkins and Jesse Parahi, along with backs Allan Fa'alava'au, Shannon Walker, Jacob Taylor and Lewis Holland.

Similar to last season, where injury played a hand in cruelling the Australians' chances midway through the season, O'Connor has been forced to blood new players and named five 19 year olds to his Dubai squad.

In addition, four new faces made their debut for Australia on the weekend, with Laloifi Junior Laloifi, Peter Lee, Jack Grant and Nick Malouf all running on during the two-day tournament.

The Qantas Men's Sevens now travel to Port Elizabeth for the third round of the HSBC Sevens World Series where they will face Samoa, France and South Africa in pool play.