Charlotte Caslick: Inspiring the current generation to join the Sevens ‘sisterhood’

Wed, Jan 24, 2024, 7:23 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Charlotte Caslick reflects on inspiring the current generation of Sevens stars. Photo: Getty Images
Charlotte Caslick reflects on inspiring the current generation of Sevens stars. Photo: Getty Images

When it’s all said and done, Sevens captain and superstar Charlotte Caslick will deliver a legacy that somehow matches her incredible resume on the field.

Caslick is at the stage of her career where girls who grew up dreaming of being her are standing arm-in-arm as they belt out the anthem before a Final.

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The 28-year-old will likely become the oldest player in the squad when fellow legend Sharni Williams calls time, expected in Paris even if Caslick laughed and thinks ‘I don't know Sharni’s ever going to retire at this point.’

The newest debutant Heidi Dennis was still in primary school when Caslick and Williams stepped onto the top of the podium at Rio and etched themselves into the history books with gold in 20196.

Several women in the squad, including the likes of Kaitlin Shave and Bella Nasser, have openly talked about Caslick as inspiration for their own Sevens journeys.

“It’s pretty funny,” she said to ahead of Perth

“I think Tia Hinds before her first tour said I was the reason she was playing Rugby and then we’re rooming together. I guess it’s probably some full circle moments for a few of them and I’m just happy to still keep up with them, still be out there playing and getting to be a part of such a special group.

“…I’ve watched a lot of them grow up from 16/17-year-old girls to now someone like Madi Ashby who turned 23 on Monday. I’ve been at every one of her birthdays since she pretty much turned 18. “It’s crazy to just be a part of each other’s journey.”

Underpinning the connection between Caslick and the rest of the side is the idea of the ‘sisterhood’ that is constantly referenced in any piece of media the team does.

For Caslick, it’s driven by the constant rollercoaster that is the Sevens circuit, one of a few established stars to stay around after the disappointment of Tokyo.

“It’s pretty special to know that they feel that way about the team and the culture that we’ve been creating since I took over as captain," she believes.

“It’s about believing in ourselves and putting everything out there, doing everything you can to protect each other on and off the field.

“It’s grown naturally but we’ve obviously experienced a bit of headache together through Tokyo and then had the opposite in 2022.

“We enjoy each other’s company on and off the field…we’re allowed to celebrate our wins and that’s not just winning on the field, it’s milestones that we go through together such as birthdays, family events and achievements such as Sharni’s (Smale) wedding last year.

“I think we’ve really created a family dynamic.”

The team comes into Perth as the red-hot favourites after taking out the opening two rounds in Dubai and Cape Town.

Memories of last year's disappointment in Sydney have been put to the side as Caslick and the team stay laser-focused on their 'performance bubble.'

"The home tournament is always the benchmark...and it's good practice with the added pressure in an Olympic year," Caslick added to reporters.

"There's moments with a young group where we haven't handled (the pressure) that well.

"If we need to make any (tactical) changes we can sort it out this weekend."