Experience readies Staples for Sevens centrepiece

Rugby World Cup 7s - Womens
by Sam Phillips

Aussie Sevens flyer Cassie Staples has put a turbulent Commonwealth Games experience in the rear view mirror, cutting a more confident figure ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Staples was the subject of controversy in Australia's defeat to New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games final, booting the ball into touch with the scores tied and sending the game to extra time when the opportunity was there to have one last crack at the Kiwi defensive line.

At the time the kick was put down to miscommunication in the midst of a raucous Robina Stadium and the rest of the team rallied around Staples as public pressure was applied in the aftermath.

Staples took some of that criticism to heart but ahead of the biggest tournament of her career, the rookie declared herself ready to prosper on the big stage.

"I’m a lot more confident going into this World Cup with these girls," she said.

"We’ve got a great team and it was a big step up - the Commonwealth Games - but I’m looking forward to it."

Staples described the Commonwealth Games as a "learning experience" which helped her grasp how to best absorb the pressure of the bright lights and the big stage.

"It was a good learning experience with the team I have and the girls that I have around me," she said.

"It was obviously awesome to do it on home soil.

"But this will be another challenge away from home.The Aussie women are chasing more glory in San Francisco. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"Hopefully we can bring it home for the Aussies."

The former netball star is one of nine Australian women making their World Cup debut in San Francisco and tournaments such as the Commonwealth Games, Olympics and World Cup are the primary reason the 25-year-old made the switch.

It will also be the first World Cup Staples has watched, admitting she was engulfed in the world of netball in 2013.

"I was playing netball so I wasn’t too far into footy back then," she said.

"I’m pretty excited to have this as my first World Cup and to experience this opportunity."

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