Next generation women picked for Oceania Sevens

by Staff Writer

The next generation of Aussie Sevens women will be rolled out at this weekend's Oceania Sevens.

Page McGregor, Cassie Staples and Lily Dick are the only fully fledged national players heading to Fiji, among a host of Uni 7s stars.

Sydney Uni teen Jakiya Whitfeld headlines the new faces after a breakout Uni 7s campaign this year, while powerful runner Eva Karpani has also made the squad.

Former full-time squad member Mahalia Murphy rounds out the 12 for the tournament.

Coach John Manenti has taken a different tack with his team than the Australian men did, with the women's World Series already underway and the men's kicking off at the end of November in Dubai.

Manenti said the Fiji tournament would be a great opportunity for the new faces 

“The Aon University Sevens Series allowed us to see some fantastic players in proper series conditions and the seven players we are taking to Fiji have the chance now to really step up in the gold jersey.

“Sariah Paki and Jakiya Whitfeld have been in our youth development programs and I’m keen to see how they adapt to international rugby following on from two very strong seasons of Aon Sevens.

“Page McGregor and Cassie Staples will be present from the regular squad, with both players keen to get more game time under their belt ahead of round two of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai.

“For the team, being able to play in Suva is going to be quite an experience. We know how much Sevens is a religion in Fiji and the team is looking forward to the experience.”

Australia faces Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Nauru in Pool A of the Oceania Sevens in Suva this weekend.

SQUAD

Australian Women's Sevens for Oceania Sevens

1.Lily Dick, Griffith University  

2. Rhiannon Byers, University of New England 

3. Kennedy Cherrington, Macquarie University   

4. Sariah Paki, Macquarie University 

5. Cassie Staples, University of New England 

6. Page McGregor, Macquarie University 

7. Jakiya Whitfeld, University of Sydney 

8. Laura Waldie, Griffith University 

9. Madison Higgins-Ashby, Macquarie University  

10. Hagiga Mosby, University of Queensland 

11. Eva Karpani, University of Adelaide 

12. Mahalia Murphy, University of Adelaide