Aussie women hungry for second World Series title

Womens - Paris
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A World Series title in 2018 might prove to be an even more valuable win for the Aussie Sevens than their 2016 crown.

Australia cruised to victory in 2016, before going on to win an Olympic medal, in a season where they won three of the five tournaments on offer.

This year, they are missing three of their Olympic gold medallists - Sharni Williams, Alicia Quirk and Ellia Green - with injury and have battled a season-long rollercoaster.

After winning back-to-back Cups in Dubai and Sydney, the latter without conceding a single point, the Aussies missed the final in Kitakyushu, lost an extra-time thriller to New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games and had a 46-0 final loss to the Kiwis in Canada.


Charlotte Caslick, who will step into the co-captaincy alongside Shannon Parry for this tournament, said the season’s hurdles made them even more desperate for the trophy.

“I think the season's had a lot of obstacles I guess, we've had a fair few injuries, changing of coach, got pipped at the Comm Games and there's been a bit of heartbreak but I think if we could win this one, it would mean heaps to the girls,” she said.

“For the young group coming through that haven't won one yet, who didn't get to go to the Olympics and they haven't actually won a cup, some of them, I think that would be really amazing for those girls just to get the experience.”

Australia only has to make the Paris Sevens final to clinch the World Series title for the second time, thanks to New Zealand’s fifth-place Dubai final, but they’ve got to make it out of their pool first.

While the prospect of Australia losing a pool game might sound fanciful, they have to face Fiji, and ever-improving Russia and a dangerous Canada side first up.

Coach John Manenti said they wouldn’t be counting their trophies before they’re handed out, ahead of the tournament.

“If we're going to be in the fight on Sunday afternoon, we've got to be really consistent, we've got to play really well against three really strong pool games in Fiji, Russia and Canada and then who knows what happens after that,” he said.

“We need to build into it but we need to start well against Fiji and just try and lift ourselves a little bit each time.”

The Aussies kick off their Paris Sevens campaign against Fiji at 10:44pm AEST, streamed on worldrugby.org.