Walsh eager to build Olympic momentum as they look to continue Dubai streak

Tue, Nov 28, 2023, 12:09 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Tim Walsh and the Aussies 7s head to Dubai looking to set the platform for their season. Photo: Getty Images
Tim Walsh and the Aussies 7s head to Dubai looking to set the platform for their season. Photo: Getty Images

The Australia Women's Sevens side are out to continue their stranglehold over the Dubai Sevens event as coach Tim Walsh prepares for a crucial season.

The Aussies have touched down in Dubai ahead of the opening SVNS leg on December 2-3 (LIVE on Stan) as the defending champions after a 26-19 win over New Zealand, their third straight title.

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In total, Tim Walsh's side have won six titles in Dubai, narrowly ahead of the Black Ferns Sevens (five) although the Kiwis are still the team to beat after five straight event wins to finish 2022-23.

Walsh will always preach the importance of hitting performance benchmarking over results but he understands how important building momentum is in an Olympic year.

In 2015-16, the Australians took out the World Series after winning the first three events, eventually parlaying this into an Olympic gold in Rio. COVID shut down the potential of a similar build to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, with the side failing to reach the semi-finals.

“We want to create an environment that’s fun. It’s (about) hard work and it is because most days they’re tasting lactic acid but it’s around enjoying the hard work and enjoying your purpose,” he said to reporters.

“It’s not about the outcome, it’s about enjoying what we’re doing day to day, enjoying each other and coming to work and that enables you to have a higher purpose.

“...(Winning the SVNS World Series) is one of our targets and one of the desires to do when going in.”

Walsh and the Aussies converge on Dubai with a squad that knows how to deliver on the big stage coming off the Triple Crown in 2022.

“You look at this team, ten of them have gone to an Olympics before and in that glorious year in 2022 where they won the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and World Series so they know how to win," he notes. 

Taking out the gold medal in Paris will only amplify this and in turn, a new generation of players will be elevated into superstars, with ten players from the 2022-23 squad 23 or under.

“Within our program, we’re very much focused on our performance bubble and what we’re about but we do have incredible athletes, stories and an event that is the world’s biggest (at the end of the season,” he added.

“It would be great to show the world the personalities, culture and desire to be better with these girls radiate.

“...Everything in sevens is magnified, so you could argue that you’ve got to have six or seven within 10 but everybody has a pretty important role and if they can execute that role, then that’s world class."

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