Demi Hayes is hoping she can impress in the Kitakyushu Sevens this weekend, with a trio of big names missing from the Aussie squad.
Hayes has been in and out of the team this year and had limited game time in last week’s Commonwealth Games, still a developing player in the side.
With Charlotte Caslick, Sharni Williams and Ellia Green out, Hayes’s role will become a more important one, with two debutants in the side looking for their more experienced counterparts to take the lead.
The 19-year-old is hoping to make a statement in Japan, where the Aussies will take on China, Spain and Ireland in their pool matches.
“Obviously, it was hugely unfortunate that some of the girls got injured at the Comm Games but I'm really hoping to get some more game time this weekend and really show what I can put on the park for the other girls and have their backs when I'm out beside them,” she said.
Hayes has found form in the tournament before, a standout in last year’s Kitakyushu Sevens after returning from injury to feature in the tournament.
“It was awesome to come back from injury last year and I think it's really exciting after the Comm Games and not getting many minutes so I'm really excited to put on the footy boots and have a run out there,” she said.
The Aussies had just a six-day turnaround between their Commonwealth Games silver medal effort and the Japan tournament, but Hayes said they felt ready to go for the third World Series leg.
“We had a pretty good hit-out off the plane, so I think we're all feeling pretty good,” she said.
“It was good to get the legs running after the Comm Games, obviously such a short turnaround, but I think it'll be awesome to see what we can put out for Kitakyushu.”
The Aussies kick off their campaign on Saturday at 12:36pm AEST against China.
Saturday April 21 (all times AEST)
Australia vs China, 12:36pm
Australia vs Ireland, 3:20pm
Australia vs Spain, 6:04pm