Walsh rests stars for Langford leg

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens coach will rest star players for this weekend’s tournament in Langford, Canada.

Charlottle Caslick, Alicia Quirk and Emma Tonegato will miss this weekend’s tournament giving the opportunity for young debutants Shenae Cieksiolka, Demi Hayes and Georgina Friedrichs to show their skills on the World Series for the first time.

In the only other change to the side, Nicole Beck returns to the squad for the injured Evania Pelite who is unavailable after injuring her elbow in Atlanta.

Walsh said naming three debutants for Langford will help build further depth in the squad.

"I'm excited to see how the three debutants [Ciesiolka, Hayes and Friedrichs] face up to the challenge of playing against the best Women's Sevens players in the world,” he said.

"I see this tournament as a huge opportunity for each of them to prove to me they have what it takes not only physically but also mentally. The Sevens World Series is unforgiving and no-one will be doing us any favours.

"Demi is a fine athletic forward and Georgie is a workhorse who is as brave as anyone I've seen on a rugby field. Everyone saw the pace Shenae has in her locker when we took on Ireland at the Sydney 7s in February - it's an exciting mix."

Australia have won all three tournament this season and sit 14 points clear of second placed New Zealand with just two legs remaining. They need just 27 points from the remaining two tournaments to claim their maiden World Series title, but Walsh isn’t focusing on that just yet.

"As a team we don't look too much into those type of statistics. We focus on the processes and the results take care of themselves. Clearly, we're in a pretty good spot on the World Series ladder but come the weekend all of our energies will be channelled towards France, Russia and Brazil." He said.

All of the action from Day One and the first half of Finals Day from the Canada Sevens from Langford will be streamed live via worldrugby.org. FOX SPORTS only will broadcast the tournament from the Plate Final onwards.

Qantas Australian Women's Sevens fixtures for the Canada Sevens at Westhills Stadium, Langford, 17 April:

Australia v France, Pool A, 4.44am AEST (17 April)

Australia v Brazil, Pool A, 7.36am AEST (17 April)

Australia v Russia, Pool A, 10.28am AEST (17 April)

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the Canada Sevens at Westhills Stadium, Langford, 17 April:

1. Shannon Parry

2. Brooke Walker

3. Nicole Beck

4. Tiana Penitani

5. Dominique du Toit

6. Demi Hayes

7. Georgina Friedrichs

8. Chloe Dalton

9. Amy Turner

10. Shenae Ciesiolka

11. Emilee Cherry

12. Mahalia Murphy

Travelling reserves: Laura Waldie, Shanice Parker.