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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Women’s Sevens team will be looking to add another Cup to the trophy cabinet and regain the number one spot on the 2013–2014 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series standings when the competition heads to Barueri, São Paulo this weekend.
The Aussies (36 points) are second on the competition ladder, just two points behind New Zealand (38) after the girls from across the ditch took out the USA leg of the series in Atlanta last weekend. Canada (32) sits in third spot with Russia (30) fourth.
Australia will look to recapture the form which inspired an astonishing comeback in Dubai to snatch the title from the talented New Zealand side in November.
The Australians made it to the last four in Atlanta after wins against China and the United States before a sudden death extra-time try from skipper Sharni Williams saw off England. Canada, however, proved tricky opposition – defeating the Aussies on both days of the tournament.
Australia finished the tournament strong with a 22-12 win over Russia to secure third place and young gun Rachel Crothers believes the scene is set for the team to do well in Brazil.
“We’re all excited to be playing in Brazil for the first time and we are interested to see what the competition and culture has to offer.
“We are keen have another shot at Canada and the girls are always up for a clash against New Zealand so it should be an intense second day if we make it through to the Cup finals,” Crothers said.
Sharni Williams will lead the side again and coach Tim Walsh is confident the girls can learn their lessons from last weekend in Atlanta.
“It’s important we continue to grow and work to improve on the minor details that didn’t quite click for us last weekend. We weren’t a million miles away from making the Final, but those are the fine margins in top-level spot.
“The competition is growing in strength all of the time – and those margins will only get smaller,” he added.
Australia has been drawn in Pool B against a strong Russia side, Japan and Argentina for a chance to battle it out against the heavyweights on Day two of competition.
Rivals Canada will tackle hosts Brazil along with Spain and the Netherlands in Pool C while last year’s inaugural series winners New Zealand, will vie against England, United States and Ireland in Pool A.
Competition kicks off on Saturday, 22 February (AEDT) and climaxes on Sunday, with all action to be streamed live at wsws.irb.com.
Follow the Qantas Men’s and Women’s Sevens with updates on Twitter @Aussie7s
Australian Women’s Sevens fixtures in São Paulo on 22 February:
Australia v Argentina, Pool B, 5.58am (AEDT)
Australia v Japan, Pool B, 8.42am (AEDT)
Australia v Russia, Pool B, 11.48am (AEDT)
Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the 2013 – 2014 IRB Sevens World Series in São Paulo, Brazil:
Shannon Parry (Redlands, QLD)
Hanna Sio (Parramatta, NSW)
Emilee Cherry (The Tribe, QLD)
Saofaiga Saemo (Power House, VIC)
Rachel Crothers (Australian Services Rugby Union)
Amy Turner (Mount Isa, QLD)
Cobie Jane Morgan (Warringah, NSW)
Alicia Quirk (The Tribe, QLD)
Emma Tonegato (The Tribe, QLD)
Charlotte Caslick (The Tribe, QLD)
Ellia Green (Warringah, NSW)
Sharni Williams - captain (Canberra Royals, ACT)
Players from the Qantas Australian Women's Sevens program visited the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick on Thursday to bring some needed festive cheer to sick children.