Aussie sevens take on Japan

by Steve Stammers

The Australian Women’s Sevens team will ramp their Olympic preparations, with a six-match series against Japan.

The newly-crowned World Series champions will play Japan two times on Wednesday, twice on Thursday and twice on Friday in what is shaping up to be an important hit-out for the program ahead of the Olympic team announcement on Thursday 14 July.

Head Coach Tim Walsh is expected to use most of his big names, with winger Emma Tonegato the only regular ruled out with an ankle injury.

Co-captain Sharni Williams highlighted the importance of playing an international-class team like Japan.

“Playing two games a day over a three-day period is not something we’re used to on the World Series so we’re keen to get that scenario embedded in our minds," she said.

“We’ll be using the games to go through some of the plays that we have been working in training but overall it should be a really beneficial series. Japan is a growing rugby nation and playing a World Series team of their caliber will stand us in good stead.”

Australia has already been confirmed as top seed for the Rio 2016 Olympics with their Pool A opponents decided after this weekend’s final repecharge in Dublin. The USA has already been confirmed as one of Australia’s opponents at Deodoro Stadium.

Australia versus Japan match schedule:

Game 1: Wednesday 22 June, 11am AEST

Game 2: Wednesday 22 June, 4pm AEST

Game 3: Thursday 23 June, 11am AEST

Game 4: Thursday 23 June, 4pm AEST

Game 5: Friday 24 June, 11am AEST

Game 6: Friday 24 June, 4pm AEST

All games are open for the public at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Wakehurst Parkway, Narrabeen.