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By ARU Media Unit
Qantas Women’s Sevens coach Chris Lane has named his squad of 12 for the Oceania Women’s Sevens Championships taking place in Lautoka, Fiji, on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 August.
Australia is top seed of Pool A, alongside Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. New Zealand head up Pool B ahead of Fiji, Cook Islands and Tonga.
The tournament is a regional qualifier for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Russia.
While most teams will be out to secure a Rugby World Cup Sevens berth the Qantas Women’s Sevens enter the Championships having already qualified for the World Cup after claiming the inaugural title in 2009.
Qantas Women’s Sevens coach Chris Lane said the tournament would be a further opportunity to build on his team’s training.
“It’s still about growth,” Lane said.
“While we have already qualified we’re treating the upcoming camp and the tournament very seriously and we’re looking to continue building on our strengths.
“We haven’t played any of the teams in our pool before so that’s really good and is sign that Rugby Sevens is continuing to expand.
“We’ve had our development year and learned a lot in a short time and now it’s time to get some transfer from our training into tournaments.
“We’re not too far off the mark but we’re always looking for continued learning and growth.
“Even though we’ve already qualified we still want to win, it’s still the Oceania Championships.”
With both Australia and New Zealand already qualified for 2013, the remaining six competitors will be vying for advancement in the qualifying process.
The top team from the other six competitors will advance to the next round of qualification at the Asian Rugby Football Union regional qualifier in Pune, India in October.
Lane’s side for the Oceania Women’s Sevens Championships features three members of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009-winning side in current captain Rebecca Tavo, Tricia Brown and Bo De La Cruz.
It also features five members of Australia’s Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 side with Iliseva Batibasaga, Brown, Cheyenne Campbell, Cobie-Jane Morgan and Shannon Parry.
The side also features some relatively new faces with youngster Alicia Quirk getting set to earn her third cap for the Qantas Women’s Sevens and Amy Turner set to make just her second tournament appearance.
The Qantas Women’s Sevens will prepare for the tournament with a four-day camp at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen from 28-31 July before departing for Fiji on Wednesday 1 August.
Over 500 young men and women had the opportunity to show off their skills and athleticism yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s Search for a Star took place across the country looking to identify players who may have the potential to represent their country in Rugby Sevens.