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By ARU Media Unit
2009 World Cup Sevens winner, Rebecca Tavo, has today been named captain of the Australian Women’s Sevens team for the 2011/12 season.
The dual-international, who has represented Australia in touch-football for several seasons as well as featuring for Australia in the shortened form of the game, replaces long-serving skipper, and good friend, Cheryl Soon.
Tavo’s elevation to the role of captain comes ahead of Australia’s return to Dubai in three weeks’ time, a location where on their last visit in 2009 they held aloft the inaugural Women’s Sevens World Cup title.
The Arabian Gulf-based tournament will take place on December 2-3 at “7he Sevens” stadium in Dubai.
The 2011 Dubai Sevens, which coincides with the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, will be the first officially sanctioned Women's international Sevens tournament, apart from the Rugby World Cup Sevens and will include a host of nations keen to put on a show.
Tavo will lead her young side against the likes of Canada, England, South Africa and the USA, in what will be a challenging tournament for the Aussie women.
A member of Australia’s victorious campaign at the 2009 World Cup, Tavo said she was proud to have been given the role.
“I was shocked; I didn’t really know what to say,” Tavo said.
“I actually asked Laney [Chris Lane Australian Women’s Sevens coach] if he was sure he wanted me.
“But seriously, I was blown away. It is a huge honour and I’m very proud to be given the chance.”
Tavo tasted her second World Cup success earlier in 2011, after featuring in the Aussie Women’s touch-football side which claimed the number one crown in Edinburgh.
While achieving success in both codes, Tavo has chosen to switch her focus to the full-contact version of the game.
“Rugby has been my true home for the past few years now and this is certainly my priority,” Tavo said.
“I’m really excited for Dubai and especially to have such an awesome team behind me as we run out.”
Speaking from the first day of an eleven-day training camp in Queensland Australian Women’s Sevens coach, Chris Lane, said Tavo was the perfect person for the job.
“She is an outstanding player who has the respect of all the girls and truly leads by example,” Lane said.
“Rebecca is the ultimate professional.
“With her experience in Touch Football, and our new group having a fair amount of girls coming from there, she is the perfect person for the job.
“She has an amazing ability to translate touch-language into Rugby language.”
The Australian Women’s Sevens team will compete at the Dubai Sevens on December 2-3, the week following the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch on November 25-26.
Tom Kingston was nearly a Sevens player five years ago, just as he entered the professional rugby ranks.