Aussies hatch plan to conquer Kiwis in San Fran

Rugby World Cup 7s - Womens
by Sam Phillips

The Australian women's Sevens brains trust have devised a fresh plan of attack to foil the all conquering Kiwis, should they meet once again in the World Cup final.

The trans-Tasman rivals met in three of the five World Series deciders this year, duked out an epic Commonwealth Games final and between them, have missed just one podium all season.

But after Australia set the standard through two undefeated tournaments to start the year, New Zealand have dominated the head-to-head battles in both Langford and Paris.

The combined margin in those finals was a whopping 72 points - physicality at the breakdown Australia's glaring weakness.

The return of star trio Ellia Green, Alicia Quirk and Sharni Williams will help in that space but co-captain Shannon Parry said a three week block prior to the weekend's World Cup has the Australians primed to bounce back.

Shannon Parry believes the Australians can bounce back at the World Cup. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"Against New Zealand it's obviously crucial at the breakdown - they get a lot of turnovers there," Parry said.

"For us, it's about being able to control the ball in attack and being more connected in defence so their steppers can't really step and get around us.

"We've changed a few things up and had a solid three weeks at home which has been really good for us.

"Johnny has been able to implement change which has been positive and all the girls have grasped that."

"We're looking forward to putting that in place at the World Cup."

While Parry was pleased to see Australia's very own "big three" on the flight to San Francisco, their unique skills vital to pushing the Kiwis should another grand final showdown ensue.

"Obviously Ellia Green on the wing - you know what she is going to bring," Parry said.Ellia Green is a significant inclusion for the Australians. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"Alicia Quirk is our conductor in the centre of the field and that has been a bit of a missing link we've had.

"We've had Emma Sykes fill those shoes very well, Page McGregor as well, then Sharni brings a bit of muscle back into the forward pack.

"They're three big assets coming back for us this World Cup campaign and I can't wait to get back on the field with them."

Australia's men have their own significant trio returning, too, with Jesse Parahi, John Porch and Henry Hutchison all coming into a side which disappointed in both London and Paris.

"If you look at the last couple of tournaments that we did play we had a stacked side," Parahi said.

"We had a really, really good side that we sent over there and on paper we looked good but when you look at it a little bit deeper, we had a lot of guys coming off long term injuries.


"Often it takes a couple of tournaments to get your groove back, get your combinations and get your rhythm back.

"Now that we've got that and the guys that have had that blowout, the guys will be ready for this one."

Australia's World Cup Sevens campaign kicks off on Saturday morning AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.