Aussie Sevens thrive on big stage

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A number one world ranking won’t be changing anything for the Australian Women’s Sevens team when they compete at Sao Paulo this weekend.

The Aussies are gunning for their second straight World Series leg win, after claiming the opening tournament in Dubai two months ago.

Coming into the tournament of the back of a scintillating performance in three exhibition games at the Sydney 7s, the spotlight has rarely been greater on the side.

Stand-in captain Shannon Parry said the extra attention from opponents and fans would only be good for the side leading into August’s Rio Olympics.

“We’ve got a number of big game players they love that (crowds), they thrive off that energy and  it’s a great opportunity for us,” she said.

“Come Rio that’s probably what it’s going to be like, crowd cheering or booing so it’s a good rehearsal for that going forward.”

Taleena Simon and Mahalia Murphy will make their first World Series appearances, with regular captain Sharni Williams (knee) and Chloe Dalton (arm) out through injury and Parry said she was looking forward to seeing the pair in action.

“We’re looking to rotate players throughout the year because we all know it's a long year to get to August at Rio,” she said.

“Everyone will get their opportunities and these girls are champing at the bit and they deserve to be there, so hopefully they go well.”

The team will use the trip to visit Rio after the Sao Paulo tournament as well, familiarising themselves with the city in which they will vie for Olympic Gold.

“We'll have four or five days in Rio to see what it’s all about and to see Christ the Redeemer and to see the village and a few other things so when the team does get there in August it’s not like, ‘Bang’,” she said.

“It’s like, ‘Okay we’ve seen that, we’ve seen that we know what it’s going to be about’.”

Australia will face Ireland, Canada and Fiji in its Sao Paulo pool this weekend, with selected finals to be shown on FOX SPORTS ONE 501 LIVE on Monday morning from 6:30am AEDT.

All matches across the two-day tournament will be streamed at http://worldrugby.org  

Australia Women's Sevens Sao Paulo pool matches

Australia v Fiji, Pool A, 12.44am AEDT (21 February)

Australia v Ireland, Pool A, 3.28am AEDT (21 February)

Australia v Canada, Pool A, 6.12am AEDT (21 February)

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