Nikki and Gemma Etheridge will play together in the Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Team for the first time in almost a year, when they tackle the inaugural Canada Sevens in Langford, British Columbia this weekend (19-20 April).
The dynamic duo are one of three changes to the squad, with Nicole Beck returning from a long-term shoulder injury. Australia has been drawn in Pool B alongside France, Brazil and China and are looking to improve on their fifth place finish in Atlanta last month.
Nikki Etheridge has fought her way back into the gold jersey, after an impressive performance for Queensland during the National Sevens Championships at Narrabeen earlier this year.
“It’s always great to represent Australia. I played for Queensland during the championships last month and it was great to get back on the park and have a good tournament,” Nikki said.
“We had quite a young team with the Queensland girls and we put in a good effort but unfortunately lost to NSW in the final. Hopefully I can take some form from that tournament over to Canada and play well.”
The last time the Etheridge twins laced up the boots together was in May of last year, during the Amsterdam leg of the 2013/14 Women’s World Series where Australia went down in the Cup Final to New Zealand.
However, Nikki believes Canada will be a whole new experience.
“It’s always exciting to go to new countries and play in front of different crowds. I think Canada will put on a good show for us and it’s good to be back on the field with Gemma, it has been a little while since we’ve played together.”
Sister, Gemma, is back in the Australian fold after recovering from an ankle injury and is thrilled to be back on the field with her sister as they look to put on a show for the local fans.
“It was a bit of an unfortunate incident at training, I missed two tournaments but I’ve been working hard on the rehab and now I’m back fit, and ready to go.”
“I’ll just get on with it and concentrate on my game. It is nice to run on with your sister and it has been awhile. We’ve been crossing injury paths, so it’s good to finally be on the park fit and healthy together,” Gemma said.
Australia sits joint-second with Canada in the 2014/15 Women's Sevens World Series on 48 points, 12 behind series leaders New Zealand with three rounds to play.