Sevens embarking on 'mini World Series' as quest for Olympic redemption begins

Tue, Jul 25, 2023, 12:53 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The history of Rugby Sevens explained

Tim Walsh and the Australia Women's Sevens team are leaving no stone unturned in their preparation for a crucial 12 months, culminating with the 2024 Olympics.

It's exactly 365 days until the Paris Games will kick off for Rugby Sevens, with Australia hungry after exiting in the quarter-finals in Tokyo.

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With the new look SVNS World Series not starting until December, the women's side has started their preparations with a trip to Canada.

They will spend two weeks in the country training with and against the Canadian team along with two mini-tournaments against Hong Kong and China.

The team is looking to line up several similar visits across the world, with Italy and Ireland emerging as likely destinations for the end of August.

“I think Walshy has planned pretty well in that aspect," Sevens legend Sharni Williams said to Rugby.com.au

“I think the right way that’s he gone is a pre-season is usually just running hills, Tom (Carter) can be pretty creative in getting us through circuits and team bonding but for us, it’s about playing footy.

“(We’re) heading over to Canada for a few weeks to play there, heading to Ireland as well, doing a team reccy (of Paris)…it’s like a mini World Series so playing that footy, building combos…I think being around each other will just feel the want and need to play at the Olympics."

This season reflects a shift in perception for the Australians, no longer the 'hunted' as the Triple Crown winners dropped the World Series to New Zealand last year.

It came off the back of the Black Ferns claiming the last six World Series events, entering 2024 as the defending Olympic champions.

“It’s easy to be the chaser. It’s easier to not be up there winning, it’s coming from the bottom and chasing that team and that was us, we were sitting on top," Williams said.

“I’m not going to say it was complacency but when you’re not chasing something or having people chase you, they’re always looking at you. The game plan is all about Australia.

“We just have to better around that space and I think Walshy is the guy to always stay ahead of the game and make sure that we’re putting our best foot forward.

“...Coming from 2016 when we won the World Series, we then went out and won the gold so that was the same qualifying year. We know we need to go out and win the World Series this year because we know it’ll put us in good stead come the Olympics.

"New Zealand have that confidence already winning the World Series last year so it’s time for us to step up and get that confidence.”

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