Olympic gold to join Sydney 7s in 2017

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Australia’s gold-medal winning women’s Sevens team will play a tournament in front of their home crowd for the first time, in a new expanded Sydney 7s format.

Sydney will be one of the new legs in the Women’s World Series, with the women’s event running concurrently with the men in a new three-day competition, running from February 3-5, 2017.

The women played a part in the inaugural Sydney 7s this year, featuring in a three-match exhibition series against Ireland but the defending World Series champions have never played for World Series points in Australia.

Nicole Beck spreads it wide against Ireland during their exhibition series in February. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said it was the perfect opportunity to springboard off the success of women’s rugby in Australia following their run to an Olympic gold.

“The success of our Women’s Sevens team in Rio captivated the nation and put the sport of Rugby Sevens on the map, both here in Australia and all over the world,” Pulver said.

“Fans will now be able to watch this history-making team in action on home soil with Sydney securing an official HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament for women, to be played alongside the men’s tournament which was a huge success in 2016.

“Being crowned World and Olympic Champions in the same year was an astonishing achievement given this group of players were brought together just three short years ago, and now many of the players have become household names in Australia as a result of their Gold medal success.

Alicia Quirk celebrates after winning gold against New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images

“I am incredibly excited for our Women’s team to have the opportunity to play in an official tournament in front of their home fans and I’m sure that everyone who comes along to the HSBC Sydney 7s will be equally in awe of the exciting brand of Rugby they play.”

Sydney is the second stop in what is currently a five-leg World Series, thought World Rugby has indicated that a sixth leg to add to Dubai, Kitakyusu (Japan), Victoria (Canada) and Clermont-Ferrand (France) would come in due course.

HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series dates and venues:

Dubai: 1-2 December, 2016

Sydney: 3-4 February, 2017

Kitakyusyu: 22-23 April

Victoria, Canada: 27-28 May

Clermont-Ferrand: 24-25 June

Note: It is intended that a sixth leg will be added to the schedule in due course.