New blood in for Oceania Sevens

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It’s a mix of development and World Series preparation for Australia’s Sevens, announcing their teams for this weekend’s Oceania Sevens.

The Fiji tournament is the final competition before the World Series kicks off in Dubai on the first weekend of December and the reigning World Series champion women’s team are blooding some new faces.

Hannah Southwell, Emma Sykes and Shanice Parker are all set for their national debuts in the tournament and Australian Women’s coach Tim Walsh said the competition would prove crucial ahead of Dubai.

“We have had a great preparation period leading into this tournament and we are looking forward to continuing to build momentum towards Dubai,” he said.

“We know that this tournament is going to be incredibly tough and we will need to adapt to the challenges that come our way.

“For our young players such as Georgie (Friedrichs), Emma, Hannah and Shanice, this tournament is only going to add to their growing experience at International level and hold them in good stead moving forward.”

Australia’s men have taken a developmental approach to the tournament, with a view to looking at their next generation of players after post-Olympic tournover.

Josh Coward is a rising Sevens star. Photo: Getty Images“We are in a unique period for the Australian Men’s Sevens team having been through a changing of the guard after Rio,” coach Andy Friend said.

“For a coach it’s an exciting period as we move to create the building blocks for a strong team for the future

“We have seen players really stand up and be counted at training but now is the time for that to translate to the field and we are looking forward to what the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship has to throw at us."

The Oceania Sevens starts on November 11, in Suva, Fiji. 

Australian Men’s Squad

John Porch (C)

Sam Croke

Bennett Leslie

Conor Mitchell

Tom Connor

Liam McNamara

Josh Coward

Mick Adams

Charlie Taylor

Alex Gibbon

Simon Kennewell

Sam Caslick

Australian Women’s Squad: 

Shannon Parry (c)

Sharni Williams (c)

Tiana Penitani

Mahalia Murphy

Emma Tonegato

Emma Sykes

Hannah Southwell

Shanice Parker

Brooke Anderson

Alicia Quirk

Georgie Friedrichs

Dom Du Toit