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Women's squad confirmed as they prepare for World Series return

Wed, 24/11/2021, 4:40 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Australia faced off against Oceania at day three of the Oceania Sevens at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

The Australian Women’s Sevens side have confirmed four debutants as they make their return to the World Sevens circuit in Dubai.

Eight of the 13-women squad are under 22 as they look to build for the future ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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Demi Hayes will step up as captain for the event, joined by World Series regulars Sharni Williams, Charlotte Caslick and Dom Du Toit.

"I really had no idea (I would be named captain)," Hayes told Rugby.com.au about being named captain.

"I knew we were all having meetings with coaches to see where we were and going heading into the future. That's where Johnny (Manenti) asked if I could step up to the position of being captain.

"It's something that's always come naturally for me from a young age… I love to lead by example if not being the actual captain."

Hayes leads a new-look squad with Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Tia Hinds and Maddison Levi set for their World Series debuts, having played an integral role in Australia's Olympic campaign in Tokyo.

They are joined by young gun Teagan Levi, who makes the full-time move to Sevens alongside sister Maddison after a standout AON Uni Sevens campaign with Bond.

Lily Dick, Rhiannon Byers, Madison Ashby, Faith Nathan and Sariah Paki round out the exciting squad as they attempt to continue their impressive run at the venue, winning three of the last seven events in Dubai.

“It’s exciting to finally get back on the World Series and to challenge this new generation women’s team against the rest of the world," coach John Manenti said in a statement

“We’ve have had some amazing players in our program but this new group is progressing really well. The team has worked hard through the pre-season and now comes the time for them to gain experience with international competition, and the more we get of this, the better we will become.

“The World Series and Sevens as a whole continues to grow rapidly and the level of competition we now face is reflective of this.

"There is no fear or expectations with this youthful side, it's a great opportunity for them to express themselves and continue to grow, to highlight the work they’ve done and be resilient enough to adapt to everything the World Series can throw.

“It's an action packed year with the Commonwealth Games and a World Cup so I look forward to seeing who puts their hand up for the privilege of wearing the gold jersey.”

Australian Women’s Sevens team for Dubai

Sharni Williams, 35 caps

Lily Dick, 5 caps

Faith Nathan, 4 caps

Dominique Du Toit, 15 caps

Rhiannon Byers, 5 caps

Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea*

Charlotte Caslick, 33 caps

Madison Ashby, 5 caps

Tia Hinds*

Sariah Paki, 10 caps

Demi Hayes (c), 12 caps

Maddison Levi*

Teagan Levi*

*denotes uncapped Sevens World Series player

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