Wallaroos Millie Boyle and Mahalia Murphy are set to make their Uni 7s debuts, after returning home from the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Match fitness will be no issue for the pair, seasoned by five intense matches against some of the world’s best XVs players and a month-long training camp in the lead-up.
Boyle, set to line up for Bond University in the Uni 7s, was the youngest member of the Wallaroos squad and said she learned plenty from her first World Cup campaign.
“It was an awesome experience, it was my first World Cup and I started every match, so I was happy with my own performance,” Boyle said.
“It was great to have older, more experienced girls to learn off.”
Boyle adds to an impressive Bond squad that finished second in Launceston, a result they want to better this weekend in Sydney.
The forward said the team’s focus had been on the details when it came to improvements.
“We’ve been doing a lot of defensive work this week, a lot of structural work, just getting our synergy right on that side of the ball,” she said.
“We’re playing at a high level, so we wanted to keep things simple.
“We just wanted to take it back to basics and focus on our roles, and playing good footy.”
Boyle is one of four internationally-capped players in her team, along with Sevens star Charlotte Caslick, something she believes Bond needs to make the most of.
“There are quite a few capped players in the squad, so we’ll use that as an advantage,” she said.
“As the most experienced players in the squad we just have to make sure that we focus on what we can do for the team.”
Where Boyle slots into a relatively star-studded lineup, Murphy links up with a University of Adelaide side littered with relative rugby newcomers.
The winger said she was keen to help her teammates develop in the competition and learn the game.
“It’s great to share rugby with non-traditional markets through Uni 7s,” she said.
“Our job is all about leadership, unity, professionalism, and showing the other girls about what it’s like to be an elite athlete.
“Setting those standards is important.”
Murphy said the team’s approach was a simple one, starting with the foundations of Sevens and adding bit by bit.
“During the week, we’ve been looking at our own performance, as well as our opposition, doing our homework,” she said.
“We’ve basically been focusing on our game plan, our individual and team strengths, and our execution.
“It’s all about building and learning each week.”
Murphy will be back on familiar ground with Sevens, and wants to use the Uni 7s tournaments to push her chances of making Australia’s team for the first 2017-18 World Series tournament, in Dubai in December, before looking to the Commonwealth Games.
“My short-term goals are to start off the season strongly with UA, and get into that first World Series team,” Murphy said.
“From there it’s just about doing every right each week, and then I can focus on my long-term goals of making it to the Commonwealth Games squad in 2018.”
The Aon Uni 7s Macquarie University leg kicks off on Saturday September 9, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au from 9:30am AEST.