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Walsh ready for next challenge after World Series heroics

Thu, 02/06/2022, 7:05 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 schedule announced

Australian Women's Sevens coach Tim Walsh is happy with recent success, however, knows what can come if they can continue it heading into a bumper second half of the season.

The Sevens side resumed training on Thursday after their World Series heroics, winning four of six legs as they cruised to the title.

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

Whilst the trophies are nice, Walsh was more proud of the journey the team has come on since Tokyo.

“It’s nice to see silverware but I think it’s the people you work with, when you get to know them, strategise them and work and see it come together is probably the biggest adrenaline rush,” Walsh told Rugby.com.au

“We’re very much a looking forward team and program so that’s certainly our approach to it.”

The team will head to New Zealand later in the month for an Oceania event before heading into the Commonwealth Games in July and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in September.

Along with this, the 2022-23 World Series presents extra significance, doubling as an Olympic qualifier.

It presents a unique challenge for Walsh and the coaching staff, looking to peak at multiple moments across the next 12 months.

“We’re looking to peak for the Commonwealth Games but It’s such a big season with everything going on,” he notes.

“It’s a brutal calendar if you don’t manage it properly. You look at South Africa’s men's team, they got off to an absolute flyer and didn’t stop after the Olympics and now they are struggling, really struggling mentally and physically.

“You have to look at that calendar and wonder how you are going to manage your players…we’re aiming to peak perform but we’re looking to get out what we want out of Oceania.

“…We need to make sure we’re hitting those events without any regrets, making sure we’re doing everything we can do be at peak performance.”

The team finished second in the 2018 Commonwealth Games to NZ whilst they haven't tasted Sevens World Cup success since the inaugural event in 2009.

However, the silverware isn't what drives Walsh and the team. It's an internal bond or 'sisterhood' as so many players referred to it as.

This is coupled with the status and glory that awaits if they manage to come back with gold at either event, with Walsh completely aware of its power after being at the helm for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“The trophy are nice but that’s not what drives us. I think the drive is for each other,” Walsh explained.

“When you talk about the past and current, a lot of the talk isn’t what happened on the field, (it’s) the friendships and the experiences you have as a group. When you wake up and it’s 6 degrees, you’re actually getting up for the people you work with and that’s the difference, that’s the drive. We enjoy that hard work and doing for each other, the outcomes are all the other stuff and that's where responsibilities come in-play about role models and being known.

“This team is incredibly powerful. You look at the Charlotte’s (Caslick) of the world, Charlotte should be one of the greatest athletes in history for what she’d done on the field and the impact she’d had off the field, changing the perception of women’s contact sport and watching it thrive.

“In sport, you are defined by your results so if you are not winning, you don’t get that opportunity. Look at the gold medal in 2016 (Olympics), if we come second, we don’t have the opportunity to promote and have those conversations so winning is imperative.

“All of our systems and processes are geared towards that but once we get that, we have to be ready to use that podium to then promote the game and build a sustainable future. If you win, it helps your performance because of how you can use those vehicles to promote and keep the game in a healthy position.”

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