TEAM NEWS: "Winx" Whitfeld to make Aussie debut in Cape Town

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Teenage speedster Jakiya Whitfeld has been called up to make her World Sevens Series debut for Australia in Cape Town.

The elevation of Whitfeld, who was dubbed "Winx" because of her brilliant running in the AON Uni 7s, is one of three changes to the team from Dubai, with Yasmin Meakes and Demi Hayes also coming into the 12.

Evania Pelite has been ruled out due to injury and returned to Sydney, while newcomer Georgia Hannaway was also unavailable the Cape Town tournament, which sees the women’s tour join the men in the Dubai-South Africa swing for the first time.

The coastal city is one of the new stops on an expanded women’s World Sevens Series tour in 2019-20.

“We have made a few changes to the squad this week and it’s great to welcome back Demi and Yasmin,” Australian coach John Manenti said in a release.


"We are really excited about Jakiya in her debut World Series tournament. Jakiya has earned her place in this side and has been one out of our outstanding players that has come through our pathway and the Aon University Sevens Series.

“Cape Town will through up some different challenges this week, it’s the first time we have had to go back weeks on the World Series, and we are really looking forward to the challenge.”

AUSSIE WOMEN'S SEVENS READY FOR CAPE TOWN

DECEMBER 13, 2019

1. Shannon Parry, University of Sydney, Queensland, 27 caps 
2. Sharni Williams (c), University of Canberra, ACT, 32 caps 
3. Yasmin Meakes, University of Canberra, ACT, 8 caps  
4. Cassandra Staples, University of Queensland, NSW, 9 caps
5. Emma Tonegato, University of Western Australia, NSW, 27 caps 
6. Demi Hayes, Griffith University, Queensland, 9 caps 
7.  Jakiya Whitfeld*, University of Sydney, NSW
8. Madison Ashby, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, 2 caps
9. Faith Nathan, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, 1 cap
10. Alicia Lucas, University of New England, NSW, 31 caps 
11. Rhiannon Byers, University of New England, NSW, 3 caps 
12. Ellia Green, University of Melbourne, Victoria, 27 caps 
13. Sariah Paki, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, 8 caps

FIXTURES

All matches will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS. 

Friday 13 December
Australia v England, 11.00pm AEDT 
Saturday 14 December 
Australia v Ireland, 5.45pm AEDT 
Australia v USA, 11.57pm AEDT