The Australian Women’s Sevens are looking to make history this weekend in Clermont but playmaker Alicia Quirk already has a guaranteed legacy.
Quirk’s hometown of Wagga has named its women’s Sevens best and fairest medal after her.
Though she never had a chance to play rugby in her hometown - in fact her first game was for Australia - Quirk said it was an “overwhelming honour”.
“It was really humbling and overwhelming when they first decided to announce it and it’s great to see the Riverina is really behind women’s sport and women’s rugby,” she said.
“I hope I can do the medal and the name justice and keep doing my region and my family and friends back there proud.
“It was very cool when the phone call came through.”
Quirk said she hoped the move would help to keep raising the profile of women’s Sevens and inspire the next generation of female rugby players.
“I know participation is through the roof and we only hope to aspire to be pioneers of the game for women’s rugby and for young girls that they can have the same dreams that we have,” she said.
“That is, going to the Olympics, competing for a gold medal or even having the opportunity to pull on a green and gold jersey no matter what the circumstances are.
“Even just pulling on a jersey to play the sport that they love.”
Quirk and the side have the chance to clinch Australia's first World Series title of either the men’s or women’s Sevens circuits in Clermont this weekend.
The 24-year-old, who was rested for the most recent leg in Canada, said she was champing at the bit to get stuck into action in France.
“It feels like it’s been an eternity since I played so I’m really excited and all the girls are really excited,” she said.
The return of experienced duo Sharni Williams and Ellia Green will keep her mind at ease as well, Quirk said.
“It just brings so much to the team dynamic on and off the field.”
“We just know they’re game changers and you can just give them the ball and they’re going to make a difference.
“As a ball player that makes my job really easy and I know if I’ve got Ellia in space I just give her the ball or if we need a carry and get someone strong or to make a tackle I know I can rely on Sharni.
“It just builds and rounds out our team dynamic.”
The Clermont Sevens kicks off on May 28.