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By ARU Media Unit
The 2013/14 season proved a breakthrough season for the Australian Women’s Sevens side. New Head Coach and former Australian Sevens player Tim Walsh turned around the fortunes of a side that had an indifferent 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow into genuine World Series contenders. Elsewhere, Australia can now proudly boast that it has the best Women’s Sevens player in the world as it motors full-steam ahead towards the 2014/15 season and hopefully the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
Tim Walsh is appointed Head Coach of the Australian Women’s Sevens team, replacing Chris Lane.
Australia warmed up for the second IRB Women’s Sevens World Series by claiming the 2013 Oceania Sevens Championship after beating the likes of Fiji (twice), New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The Women’s Sevens team recorded its first ever tournament win on the IRB World Series circuit in Dubai in remarkable circumstances. Trailing 22-0 in the Cup Final to the fancied New Zealand, Walsh’s side staged a dramatic comeback to pip the defending champions 35-27. World Series debutant Rachel Crothers scoring a hat-trick. Australia had earlier progressed to the Final after coming back from 12 points down to beat England 19-12 and then clinically disposing of Russia 31-0. Skipper Sharni Williams was the team’s top points scorer (41) in Dubai.
The ARU announced a training squad of 22 women in preparation for the Youth Olympic Games in August 2014. Among the names included were IRB World Series stars Tiana Penitani and Brooke Anderson.
The Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens program moved to a centralised base at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen, thanks largely to the support of the Australian Sports Commission. 21 players were selected to the contracted list, including Touch Football converts Charlotte Caslick and Alicia Quirk.
Part 2 continues tomorrow.