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By ARU Media Unit
Qantas Women’s Sevens coach, Chris Lane, has named his squad for the second round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Houston, with just three changes to the side which last competed in Dubai.
Lane believes the relatively consistent lineup will help his side improve on their fourth place finish in Dubai, which was the opening round of the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series season.
“The core of the team from Dubai is there and we feel like we didn’t reach our potential there,” Lane said.
“The girls are keen to put their hands up and build from that performance.
“We have a much better understanding within the team of how we want to play the game, so we’re only going to improve from here.”
The most significant change to Australia’s lineup is the absence of regular captain Rebecca Tavo, who injured her ankle in Dubai.
Despite missing the Houston leg of the Series, Tavo is expected to return for the third round in China.
The 2012 Australian Women’s Player of the Year, Emilee Cherry, will captain the side in Houston in Tavo’s absence.
Katrina Barker and Maddison Elliot, are the other two members of the Dubai squad that will not compete in Houston.
They will be replaced by Iliseva Batibasaga and Amy Turner, who have been brought back into the squad after short layoffs.
The final place in the Qantas Women’s Sevens squad for Houston will be filled by 19-year-old debutant, Ellia Green.
Green has risen rapidly through the ranks after attending one of Australian Rugby Union’s ‘Pathway to Gold’ Rugby Sevens Talent ID camps in Melbourne last year.
“As much potential as we have in this squad there is a lot of untouched potential out there as well,” Lane said.
“She’s certainly not overawed by it. She’s the type of girl that will just jump in the deep end and swim like mad.”
Green was one of 80 participants at the Melbourne Talent ID camp and was one of 80 from across the country invited to the second stage of trials in Canberra.
From there, she was one of just five who were invited to the Australian Sevens selection camp for Houston.
“To be able to represent Australia in a sport I’m not familiar with is unbelievable and such a great opportunity. I can’t wait,” Ellia said.
The Qantas Women’s Sevens face Russia, Brazil and Japan in pool play in Houston. The tournament runs 1-2 February.
Qantas Australian Rugby Sevens stars Emilee Cherry and Cameron Clark have been rewarded for their stellar performances throughout their respective 2013/14 seasons after picking up three awards between them at the 2014 John Eales Medal in Sydney.