Taleena Simon set for Sao Paulo

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Taleena Simon has been named in the Aussie Women’s team heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series on February 20-21 as the young speedster aims for her debut cap for the gold jersey.

With the Olympics a big draw card for Sevens athletes around the world, Simon doesn’t shy away from her pride at this opportunity.

“This opportunity means a lot. It will be an honour to represent my country. I just can’t wait for the moment to come,” said Simon.

“The Olympics is a big thing. Anyone would want to play Rugby and win an Olympic Gold medal.”

Simon will be looking to put her best foot forward with a wider squad of 23 players all vying for a spot in the final 12 person team heading to Rio in August.

Determined not to get ahead of herself, Simon is taking the biggest year in her career so far just one match at a time. 

“I’m just focusing on what I’ve got to do and my position.”

Simon also competed during the HSBC Sydney 7s over the weekend playing a part in the whitewash result prevailing over Ireland in a three-match exhibition.

Although initially apprehensive to play in front of a crowd of over 35 000, it didn’t take long for Simon to settle in and enjoy the atmosphere.

“It was pretty scary and I was pretty nervous cause of how big the crowd was but it was fun and great to play on home soil.

“I loved it and enjoyed every bit of it.”

The HSBC Sydney 7’s is the only time the Australian Women’s team will play on home soil all year but off the back of such a successful exhibition series against Ireland, talks are already underway to boost a home playing schedule for 2017.

Having the Australian women’s side competing at the Sydney 7s and the upcoming Olympics exposure the world class team is sure to receive, women’s Rugby in Australia is on track to continue its extraordinary rise as one of the fastest growing female sports in the country.

“It’s definitely is growing, before you hardly ever heard about women playing Rugby and now you see it on the news, in the paper, it’s just everywhere,” she said.

“I guarantee that in a couple more years it will be much bigger. It will have more crowds around the Women’s game because there’s not much at the moment, but it’s definitely growing.”

With the Sao Paulo leg of the World Series a week away, the young debutant is making sure she is doing everything in her power to play the best Rugby she is capable of.

“I just want to work really hard in what I do and give it 100% and stay focused on my game.”

The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team will play Canada, Fiji and Ireland in Pool A in Sao Paulo.