Aussie Sevens women to turn out in Jack Scott Cup

Fri, 31/07/2020, 05:33 am staff
by staff
Ellia Green in action for the Aussie Sevens. Photo: Getty Images
Ellia Green in action for the Aussie Sevens. Photo: Getty Images

In a normal year, Australia's women's Sevens would have been defending their Olympic gold medal in Tokyo this weekend.

Instead, a host of the Rio gold medal-winning squad will be going back to their roots in club rugby across Sydney.

With the remainder of the 2019-20 Sevens World Series and the opening two tournaments of the 2020-21 series also cancelled, Australia's women have been looking for competitive hitouts.

Some of the squad has already flagged an intent to feature in the upcoming NRLW season, including Charlotte Caslick and Ellia Green.

The Jack Scott Cup, Sydney's premier women's XVs competitoin, will give a host of other players, including Green, a chance to flex their muscles in full contact.

Some players will also turn out in Sunday's Sydney women's Sevens tournaments as they look to return to more competitive chances.

Aussie women's coach John Manenti said the outings would be very welcome after effectively five months away from playing.

"We've just finished a speed and power block and now we're gong into more of a conditioning and contact block so that's enhancing what we're doing," he said.

"In training, even with full contact, the girls are always a bit nervous about hurting each other so it's a great chance for them to go up against real opposition they don't know and rip into it.

"It's also a chance for them to learn in a different environment. Hopefully our players can impart some knowledge and get some back as well."

Women's XVs rugby has taken major strides in recent seasons and that has opened up XVs club rugby as a genuinely serious alternative for Australia's professional Sevens players.

Green, Chloe Dalton and Sharni Williams will run out for Warringah's Ratettes against Easts at Rat Park.

Rhiannon Byers, Cassie Staples and Demi Hayes will run out for the Randwick Magic against Western Sydney at Lidcombe Oval.

Emma Tonegato, who has also been linked with an NRLW move, will play for Southern Districts.

Jakiya Whitfeld will play for Sydney Uni against the Hunter Wildfire side, returning to the club where she had a breakouf Uni 7s campaign for as a teenager.

The Hamilton and Sydney 7s tournaments are the next scheduled World Series legs but World Rugby is reviewing the entire season schedule in the wake of coronavirus and international travel restrictions.

Manenti said he hoped that opportunities players to play more club rugby in between tournaments would become more common but conceded it would be difficult in a normal, globe-trotting season.

"The standard continues to improve and will continue to improve and while it keeps happening, these girls are footy players and they want to play footy," he said.

"In a normal year traveling, now we’d be in Tokyo.

"In a normal year, we don't always have the luxuries of releasing the girls back so it's great there's this window for them and hopefully we can get some more games in the back end of the year as well."

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