Aussie sides confirm debutants for first round of new HSBC SVNS series in Dubai

Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 2:56 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Australian Sevens teams are set to debut several new faces in Dubai. Photo: Henry Palmer/IG and Brendan Hertel
The Australian Sevens teams are set to debut several new faces in Dubai. Photo: Henry Palmer/IG and Brendan Hertel

The Australian sides have confirmed their sides for the opening SVNS event in Dubai on December 2-3, with coaches Tim Walsh and John Manenti selecting fresh faces.

Walsh is set to debut speedster Kaitlin Shave, who will finally get her shot at the World Series after serving as the 13th player in Vancouver.

Watch every round of the HSBC SVNS Series exclusive, ad-free and live on Stan Sport. 

Shave stood out in the AON Next Gen competition at the start of the year, scoring 19 tries in a 12-game period as Queensland dominated.

The Queenslander and 2022-23 rookie Bella Nasser are the lone players who did not feature in 2022's Triple Crown campaign, with Demi Hayes returning to the circuit after missing the end of the last year's campaign with a back injury.

Charlotte Caslick retains the captaincy as they look for four straight Dubai titles.

“The program has spent the best part of preseason training and playing around the world. The objective being to play more rugby, increase player and team rugby IQ, resilience, positional depth and team combination," Walsh said in a statement.

“Tom Carter has challenged and physically extended the team to an elite level, whilst consistently having 85% of the squad at full training capacity. We also have the full squad available for selection and welcome Kaitlin Shave who will make her long-awaited debut with the Australian team.

“We are very fortunate to have experienced players in Charlotte Caslick and Sharni Smale leading the team during such an intense Olympic season – both have navigated the challenges of such seasons, and they know what to expect. Sevens continues to go from strength to strength and, in an Olympic year, the launch of the invigorated new format will only enhance the entertainment spectacle and world-class product the HSBC World Sevens Series delivers.”

Meanwhile, Manenti has called development players Henry Palmer and Ben Dalton into the squad, with the likes of Henry Hutchison and Henry Paterson on the sidelines.

Palmer impressed for the ACT Brumbies in the Super Rugby U19s last season, recently scoring during their pre-season trip to Japan.

Fellow ACT product Dalton is coming off a strong season with Uni-Norths Owls, winning the Laurie Fisher Medal as Club Player of the Year, along with featuring for ACT and Southern NSW Griffins in the Australian Rugby Shield.

Ben Dowling also makes his return to the format after a season with the NSW Waratahs.

Nick Malouf will captain the side, with Maurice Longbottom and Matt Gonzalez cleared to play after missing the Oceania Sevens.

"Finally we have arrived at the start line for a huge season. There has plenty of work done to put us in a strong position to perform," Manenti said.

“Consistency is what we are searching for throughout the season and our depth is starting to build nicely to put us in a position to do that. We know if we play with the physicality, skill & detail that we’ve put in during the preseason, we’ll be in good shape to get a result in Dubai.”

Every round of the HSBC SVNS series will be shown exclusive, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.

Australia Women’s Sevens team for Dubai SVNS:

2. Sharni Smale

3. Faith Nathan

4. Dominique Du Toit

5. Teagan Levi

6. Madison Ashby

7. Charlotte Caslick (C)

8. Kaitlin Shave*

10. Bella Nasser 

11. Demi Hayes

12. Maddison Levi

22. Bienne Terita

55. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea

65. Sariah Paki

Australia Men’s Sevens team for Dubai SVNS:

2. Ben Dowling

3. Henry Palmer *

4. Dietrich Roache

5. Tim Clements

7. Josh Turner

8. Dally Bird

9. Matt Gonzalez

10. Nick Malouf (C)

11. Maurice Longbottom

12. Nathan Lawson

13. Ben Dalton *

14. James Turner

25. Hayden Sargeant

*Denotes potential debut

Australian Sevens Dubai 2023 Schedule

*All times AEDT

Women

Saturday, December 2

Australia Women v Brazil Women, 4:22 pm 

Australia Women v Japan Women, 7:21 pm

Australia Women v Ireland Women, 11:51 pm

Men

Saturday, December 2

Australia Men v Ireland Men, 5:28 pm

Australia Men v Argentina Men, 9:36 pm

Sunday, December 3

Australia Men v Spain Men, 2:16 am

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