Walsh makes one change to Australian Women's Sevens squad for Brazil

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Qantas Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh has made one change to his squad for the second leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which kicks off next weekend (8-9 February).

Nikki Etheridge returns to the squad in place of twin sister Gemma, who injured her foot in training earlier this week. Chloe Dalton has been passed fit after recovering from a fractured arm sustained in Dubai in December, while the uncapped Taleena Simon will travel with the squad as 13th player.

Brooke Anderson and Nicole Beck (both shoulder) are unavailable through injury and are unlikely to play again this season.

The Sao Paulo Sevens holds happy memories for the Australian Women’s Sevens team, who saved some of their best Rugby for Brazil’s largest city 12 months ago as they picked up the title at the 35,000-seater Arena Barueri stadium.

Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "We loved everything about Brazil last year and while we look at that fondly, that tournament is in the past. We saw back then that the weather can be very unpredictable in Sao Paulo – one day extremely warm, the next heavy rain so in that regard the unseasonal heavy rain we’ve had in Sydney the past few days should stand us in good stead.

“I believe I have picked a squad that has a nice balance to it and will excite people watching both on TV and in the stadium in Sao Paulo. In my opinion, it is a side blessed with pace, skill and power – but ultimately it is up to all 12 players selected to prove it on the pitch against high quality opposition.”

Walsh added: “I felt we played some of our best Rugby as a playing group in Dubai last month and we have left no stone unturned as we work towards Sao Paulo and hopefully taking another step towards a top four finish that will secure automatic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics.”

Australia sits second in the 2014/15 Women’s Sevens World Series standings after finishing runners-up to New Zealand in Dubai in early December.

Fans can watch all of the action live via www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series/ and FOX SPORTS (Finals Day).

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens fixtures for Sao Paulo, Brazil on 8-9 February (AEDT):

Australia v Brazil, Pool B, 12.22am (AEDT), 8 February

Australia v China, Pool B, 2.44am (AEDT), 8 February

Australia v Fiji, Pool B, 5.28am (AEDT), 8 February

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in Sao Paulo, Brazil:

Charlotte Caslick. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD

Emilee Cherry. Place of Birth: Roma, QLD. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD

Chloe Dalton. Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW

Nikki Etheridge. Place of Birth: Tamworth, NSW. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD

Ellia Green. Place of Birth: Suva, Fiji. Hometown: Melbourne, VIC

Shannon Parry. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD

Evania Pelite. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD

Tiana Penitani. Place of Birth: Canberra, ACT. Hometown: Maroubra, NSW

Alicia Quirk. Place of Birth: Wagga Wagga, NSW

Emma Tonegato. Place of Birth: Wollongong, NSW

Amy Turner. Place of Birth: Tokoroa, New Zealand. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD.

Sharni Williams. Place of Birth: Batlow, NSW. Hometown: Canberra, ACT

13th player: Taleena Simon. Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW