Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry commit to gold medal defence

· Womens - Tokyo Olympics
by Rugby Australia

The two pillars of Australian Women’s Rugby, Australian Sevens captain Sharni Williams and veteran Shannon Parry have today confirmed that they have committed to defending their Olympic Gold Medals in Tokyo next year.

The pair have re-committed to Rugby Australia for the additional year to ensure they have the opportunity of defending Gold when the Olympics take place in Tokyo in 2021.

Both players began their Rugby careers as XVs players before switching over to the newly formed professional Australian Women’s Sevens program under then-head coach Tim Walsh in 2013. Williams has amassed 35 Sevens caps and 19 Wallaroos caps with Parry reaching 34 Sevens caps and 12 Wallaroos caps.

Williams made her debut for Australia in the Wallaroos jersey in 2008 against New Zealand with Parry making her debut in 2010 against Wales.

Both women have captained the Buildcorp Wallaroos including at the Rugby World Cup in 2017.

Most notably, both players were co-captains of the side that defeated New Zealand in the final 24-17 at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach John Manenti said: “We’re really excited to lock in Sharni and Shannon for our Tokyo campaign.

“Both women are outstanding Rugby players but also fantastic leaders in their own right and they have done a huge amount for Women’s Rugby in Australia.

“Their character on and off the field is well known, but it also how they prepare and guide this team through the highs and lows of Rugby Sevens that make them such assets to Australian Rugby.”

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Captain, Sharni Williams said: “I’m really proud to be re-committing to this team and to Rugby Australia.

“Without doubt, this year has thrown up challenges for athletes both mentally and physically and for us as a group, it is about overcoming them and working hard to achieve our goal of Olympic Gold again.

“This is an amazing group that is well coached by John, and we have worked hard together to continue to prepare for what lies ahead.

“I’m excited for the next few months and to be committing to playing with this amazing group of women,” Williams said.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens player Shannon Parry: “To be committing to Rugby Australia for the next 12 months is really exciting.

“We still have a job to do and I have been really impressed with how this squad has maintained such high motivation as we continue to hit the training paddock.

“I feel very humbled to be part of this amazing team and I am looking forward to continuing our journey as we move towards Tokyo next year,” Parry said.

The Australian Women’s Sevens team is currently completing a camp in the NSW Central West before a period of leave.