Williams returns as Australian Sevens confirm sides for Toulouse

Thu, May 11, 2023, 3:58 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The history of Rugby Sevens explained

The Australian Sevens sides have confirmed their squad for this week's event in Toulouse on May 12-14.

Tim Walsh's side is boosted by the return of gold medalist Sharni Williams for the final event of the Women's Series.

Catch all the action of the World Series LIVE on Kayo and BEIN Sports

Williams last played in Sydney, recently named LGBTQ Out Role Model of the Year at the Australian Pride in Sport Awards.

The Aussies still remain a mathematical chance of defending their World Series title, needing to take out the Toulouse event whilst the Kiwis finish lower than ninth.

They open their campaign against Brazil on May 12 (7:50 pm AEST) before facing Ireland (May 13, 4:05 am) and hosts France (7:05 pm).

"We're about 450 days out from the Olympics, and we're taking every opportunity to simulate what our Gold Medal performances will look like," said Walsh. 

"Our planning is on track and this season we've seen some excellent growth as a team, and as individuals.

"We want to win - we have coined our journey to France as our 'Touwin' campaign. We are going to Toulouse to Touwin."

As for the Men, they have made several changes, headlined by the return of James Turner.

Turner has missed the past events with injury, joined in the squad by Kye Oates.

Australia Schoolboys captain Aden Ekanayake will serve as 14th player in their quest to book their spot at the Olympics.

John Manenti's side sits in fifth, which is an automatic qualifying spot with France in fourth, holding on by a point over Samoa.

They will get a chance to face the Cape Town champions to close out their pool action on May 13 (7:59 pm), starting their campaign against Japan (May 12, 8:23 pm) and Ireland (May 13, 1:04 am).

"Having arrived in Toulouse after a great three weeks of training, the group is feeling confident and is excited for the challenge ahead," said Manenti. 

"Everyone is aware of the significance of the next two tournaments and has taken that responsibility with gusto. 

"We will be looking to set the standard in our Pool games against Japan, Ireland and Samoa, as we control our own destiny over the next two weekends."

The matches will be broadcasted live and on-demand via BeIN Sports and Kayo Sports

Australian Sevens Squads for Toulouse

Men's

Nick Malouf (c)

Dally Bird

Tim Clements

Matt Gonzalez

Darby Lancaster

Nathan Lawson

Maurice Longbottom

Kye Oates

Henry Paterson

Dietrich Roache

Hayden Sargeant

James Turner

Josh Turner

Ayden Ekanayake* (14th player)

Women's

Charlotte Caslick (c)

Madison Ashby

Lily Dick

Dom Du Toit

Tia Hinds

Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea

Maddison Levi

Teagan Levi

Isabella Nasser

Faith Nathan

Sariah Paki

Bienne Terita

Sharni Williams

Australian Sevens Toulouse Schedule

*All times AEST

Men

Friday, May 12

Australia Men v Japan Men, 8:23 pm

Saturday, May 13

Australia Men v Ireland Men, 1:04 am

Australia Men v Samoa Men, 7:59 pm

Women

Friday, May 12

Australia Women v Brazil Women, 7:50 pm

Saturday, May 13

Australia Women v Ireland Women, 4:05 am

Australia Women v France Women, 7:05 pm

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