Aussie men and women with something to prove in Fiji

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia’s men’s sevens are looking to continue a winning run when the Oceania Sevens kicks off on Friday.

The Aussies have won three tournaments in a row, taking the Cup final at the Oktoberfest 7s, the Central Coast Sevens and last weekend’s San Jose Sevens.

Matt Hood was part of the Munich success and is in Fiji with the men this week, looking to keep that winning feeling going.

The Aussie men are keen to prove themselves in Fiji. Photo: Oceania Rugby“It's just that environment that you come back to and that's being bred within the team, it is exactly contagious,”he said.

“Hopefully we can build upon a bit more. but it's a good feeling.

“The boys are coming together well.

“I think we're going to show some people something from that second side they mightn’t expect.”

With the Oceania tournament back-to-back with San Jose, there are eight uncapped players in Australia’s men’s side but Hood said they didn’t mind being under the radar.

The Aussies hit the track on day one in Suva. Photo: Oceania Rugby.“We've definitely got a bit of an underdog tag as that sort of development side, coming up against the national sides from Fiji and New Zealand,” he said.

“We're a young squad but we're hungry and we're ready to go.

“Blokes have a point to prove as individuals, as well as as a team.”

Australia has gotten the better of host nation Fiji in its recent tournaments and stand-in coach Jarred Hodges said they would need to be ready to wear a target on their backs.

“We know Fiji's world class, they’re Olympic champions for a reason.

“We're under no illusion that every time you beat FIji they're going to lift the next time, so it's getting harder and harder.

“We're always excited about playing the best and we like to challenge ourselves against the best and Fiji's definitely one of those teams.”

Where a young Aussie men’s side is looking to surprise its opponents, the shock was inside the playing squad for the women, with Lauren Brown still reeling from her inclusion in the team.

Brown, who skippered Griffith University in the Uni7s, was took completely aback when Australia coach Tim Walsh called her with the news last week.

“He called me on Saturday morning and it was the best Saturday morning ever, what a call,” she said.

“I was not expecting that, so (it was)  a quick couple of days’ turnaround and here I am.”

Her jubilation was quickly grounded with a brutal training session on day one in Suva.

“It was a bit of a reality check this morning, straight into it, a hard session, so can't wait to rip in on the weekend.”

The Oceania Sevens kicks off on Friday November 10 in Suva, LIVE streamed across Oceania Rugby’s digital channels.


Oceania Sevens - Men 

Friday November 10

Australia vs Solomon Islands, 2pm AEDT

Australia vs Tonga, 5pm AEDT


Oceania Sevens - Women

Friday November 10 

Australia vs Tonga, 10am AEDT

Australia vs Samoa, 1pm AEDT

Australia vs Fiji, 4pm AEDT