Sydney to provide 2017 launchpad for Aussie Sevens

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

They’ve had a chance to reflect on their golden year and now the Aussie Women’s Sevens want to add some more colour to their trophy cabinet.

The Olympic gold medal-winning side will kick off next year’s Sydney 7s tournament, a newly expanded three day competition and one that will be critical in their pursuit of a second World Series title.

Sevens star Emilee Cherry said going back-to-back was their focus for the 2016-17 season, after a dream year in 2016.

The Aussie 7s are looking to impress in front of their home crowd. Photo: ARU Media“That's going to be a big one for us,” she said.

“Winning the world series was a huge thing for us, it rewards the most consistent team over the whole and that's something that our team wanted to be known as...we're always going to be up for the fight.

“It's definitely something we're going to be looking forward to this year, starting Dubai in December.”

Cherry hoped their home crowd would turn up in droves in what will be the side’s first home tournament, having only played exhibition matches in Australia before.

“I am so excited, personally. to be able to play in Sydney in front of family and's going to be awesome to have such great support and coming off the Olympics, we've just been building the profile so much so this is only going to help that within Australia and it's such a great thing for women's sport to be shown alongside the men's,” she said.

“Friday here is just the women's games so we're hoping so many people come out and support us first on the Friday - hopefully we get things kickstarted in our round games and then [if] we go into the quarters, semis and finals when the men's begin.”

Ed Jenkins is confident in a new-look Australian Sevens side. Photo: ARU MediaAustralia’s men fell agonisingly short of winning last year’s Sydney 7s tournament and though they’ll be in somewhat of a transition, with players like Pama Fou, Cam Clark switching to 15s, captain Ed Jenkins said there was an optimism among the group.

“The new guys coming in have a lot of energy and trying to prove something,” he said.

“It's' a good team environment down there at the moment. It's always very competitive amongst the men down there, training's been great and we’re looking to build into the world series nicely.

The inaugural Sydney 7s was a sell out, a far cry from the dwindling crowds at past events held on the Gold Coast and in Adelaide, and Jenkins said he expected a packed house in 2017.

“Last year it was a great event, everyone got behind it and supported it so I think the ARU and world rugby made a great decision to host it here in Sydney in our own backyard.,” he said.

“Once again with the women performing as well, no reason we can't get three days of a sell out.”

Tickets for the 2017 Sydney 7s, running from February 3-5 2017,will be available at from 12pm AEDT Tuesday October 11.