Rio Olympics: Women's journey to gold

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Four years ago, Australia's gold medal-winning Sevens side didn't exist.

So, how did they become history makers?


The ARU brought the Australian Sevens programs togetther in Narrabeen, offering full-time contracts for the first time. Australia comes fifth in the World Cup in Russia. Tim Walsh became women's head coach in 2013, tasked with the Olympic challenge.


Australia finishes second in the World Series and Emilee Cherry is named World Rugby Sevens player of the year, a sign of things to come.


May - Australia has another second-placed finish in the World Series, with New Zealand taking out the top ranking again.

December - The Aussies see off Russia in the final of the Dubai Sevens, getting their season off to the perfect start


Australia's women lit up Alianz Stadium in February. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

February - The women play an exhibition series against Ireland in front of their home crowd, putting their talents on the map. They go on to win the Sao Paulo Sevens in Brazil and get their first look at Rio.

April - Australia pulls off a thrilling Cup final win over New Zealand, to keep their perfect streak alive. Emma Tonegato is named player of the tournament, after scoring five tries in one match Australia finishes third in Canada, after beating France in the third-place playoff.

May - Australia seals the World Series with  a win over Fiji and finishes second in the final tournament.

July - The 12-player squad for the Olympics is announced

August - Australia beats Colombia and Fiji, without conceding a point, on the opening day of the Olympics. The second day provides a shock draw with the US but the Aussies still finish on top of their pool. They cruise through their quarter-final against Spain 24-0 and win their semi against Canada 17-5.

August 8, 2016 - Australia beats New Zealand 24-17 to become the inaugural Rugby Sevens gold medallists.