We take a closer look at the eight teams vying for the first Commonwealth Games medals in women’s rugby sevens on the Gold Coast this weekend.



Coach: Tim Walsh

Pool B – Australia, England, Fiji, Wales

Team news: Eight Olympic gold medallists from Rio 2016 and one from the Youth Olympic Games of Nanjing 2014 feature in Tim Walsh’s final squad as Australia coach. The squad, captained by Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry, boasts more than 200 tournaments on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series between them and adding another gold medal to the collection on home soil would be a fitting way for Walsh to bow out as coach.

Squad: Charlotte Caslick (pictured), Emilee Cherry, Dominique du Toit, Georgina Friedrichs, Ellia Green, Demi Hayes, Shannon Parry (co-captain), Evania Pelite, Alicia Quirk, Cassandra Staples, Emma Sykes, Emma Tonegato, Sharni Williams (co-captain)


Did you know...? Australia will be looking to complete a unique treble this weekend by adding the inaugural Commonwealth Games women's gold medal to their victories at the first RWC Sevens (2009) and Olympic Games (2016)


Coach: John Tait

Pool A: Canada, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand

Team news: Canada may have seen former captain Jen Kish ruled out by a recurrence of neck and hip injuries, but coach John Tait still fields a squad brimming with experience and talent, not least in captain Ghislaine Landry, the all-time leading point scorer in HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series history. Canada are also boosted by the return of Bianca Farella and Charity Williams from injury as they look to improve on the bronze medals they won at the Pan American Games in 2015 and Rio 2016.

Squad: Olivia Apps, Brittany Benn, Caroline Crossley, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Julia Greenshields, Sara Kaljuvee, Ghislaine Landry (captain), Megan Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Natasha Watcham-Roy, Charity Williams.

Did you know...? Hannah Darling and Charity Williams won a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and a bronze medal at Rio 2016


Coach: James Bailey

Pool B – Australia, England, Fiji, Wales

Team news: Seven members of the Team GB squad that finished fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will turn out for England on the Gold Coast, including then captain Emily Scarratt. Abbie Brown assumes the captaincy for England, while Scarratt is one of five players who started the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 final. Jess Breach, meanwhile, enjoyed a sevens debut to remember, scoring nine tries on her series debut in Sydney back in February.

Squad: Claire Allan, Jess Breach, Abbie Brown (captain), Deborah Fleming, Heather Fisher, Natasha Hunt, Megan Jones, Alex Matthews, Emily Scarratt, Emily Scott, Lydia Thompson, Amy Wilson-Hardy. Travelling reserve: Vicky Fleetwood.

Did you know...? Lydia Thompson was nominated for the World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year 2017, an accolade ultimately won by New Zealand star Portia Woodman


Coach: Iliesa Tanivula

Pool B – Australia, England, Fiji, Wales

Team news: The 2018 series has not yielded the performances or results that coach Iliesa Tanivula would have liked after the impressive displays secured a fourth-place finish overall last season. But with six Olympians in the squad for the Commonwealth Games – including captain Ana Maria Roqica, Rusila Nagasau, Tima Ravisa and Lavenia Tinai – Fiji will be hoping to rediscover their form and stake a claim for a semi-final spot themselves.

Squad: Lavena Cavuru, Rusila Nagasau, Ana Maria Naimasi, Mirama Naiobasali, Litia Naiqato, Tima Ravisa, Viniana Riwai, Ana Maria Roqica (captain), Vasiti Solikoviti, Pricilla Siata, Mereula Torooti, Lavenia Tinai. Travelling reserve: Elenoa Naimata.

Did you know...? Fiji are yet to finish on the podium in a global tournament, although they have finished fourth a number of times on the world series


Coach: Kevin Wambua

Pool A: Canada, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand

Team news: Kenya reached the semi-finals of the World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier in Hong Kong, having suffered a blow in the previous match when one of their key players Janet Owino suffered a fractured ankle that also ruled her out of the Games. Fortunately Stacey Awuor was always due to join the Lionesses on the Gold Coast with the squad featuring six of their Rio 2016 Olympians including captain Philadelphia Orlando and vice-captain Sheila Chajira.

Squad: Philadelphia Olando (captain), Sheila Chajira, Grace Adhiambo, Judith Auma, Sinaida Aura, Doreen Remour, Celestine Masinde, Linet Moraa, Rachel Mbogo, Janet Okello, Camila Cynthia, Stacey Awuor.

Did you know...? Kenya represented Africa at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, finishing in 11th place after beating Colombia on the final day


Coach: Allan Bunting

Pool A: Canada, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand

Team news: New Zealand may have lost Kat Whata-Simpkins to a leg injury and World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year 2017 nominee Ruby Tui to mumps, but they still have eight silver medallists from Rio 2017 in their squad as well as four Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 winners. The loss of Tui sees Alena Saili step into the squad with 17-year-old Risi Pouri-Lane filling the reserve spot and will make her Black Ferns Sevens debut if called upon.

Squad: Shakira Baker, Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier, Gayle Broughton, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Sarah Goss (captain), Tyla Nathan-Wong, Alena Saili, Stacey Waaka, Niall Williams, Tenika Willison, Portia Woodman. Travelling reserve: Risi Pouri-Lane 

Did you know...? Portia Woodman was the top try scorer at Rio 2016 with 10 and currently leads the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2018 with 22 tries in two rounds.


Coach: Paul Delport

Pool A: Canada, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand

Team news: After suffering heartbreak in the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series qualifier final in Hong Kong for the second year in a row, South Africa will be pleased to have an immediate opportunity to bounce back. The Women's Springboks certainly don't lack for experience on the sevens or 15s stage with former captains Zenay Jordaan and Veroeshka Grain certain to figure prominently. They also aren't short of pace either and New Zealand and Canada won't underestimate the threat that South Africa could pose to their gold medal targets.

Squad: Nadine Roos, Eloise Webb, Unathi Mali, Megan Comley, Zintle Mpupha (captain), Veroeshka Grain, Zenay Jordaan, Marithy Pienaar, Mathrin Simmers, Christelene Steinhobel, Chane Stadler, Zinthle Ndawonde. Travelling reserve: Aseza Hele.

Did you know...? South Africa are the only team in the women's competition without a Rio 2016 Olympian in their squad on the Gold Coast


Coach: Nick Wakley

Pool B – Australia, England, Fiji, Wales

Team news: Jasmine Joyce was the only Welsh player in the Great Britain squad that finished fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and is one of four players in this Welsh squad who were involved in the Women’s Six Nations earlier this year. Three players have more than 40 test caps to their name in captain Shona Powell-Hughes, Sioned Harries and Elinor Snowsill, although losing the services of captain Philippa Tuttiett (knee ligament) and Alisha Butchers (ankle) is a blow. Their absence, though, means reserves Beth Lewis and Lucy Packer get an opportunity to shine on the global stage.

Squad: Sinead Breeze, Laurie Harries, Sioned Harries, Hannah Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Beth Lewis, Lucy Packer, Kayleigh Powell, Shona Powell-Hughes, Germma Rowland, Elinor Snowsill, Sian Williams (captain).

Did you know...? Teenagers Beth Lewis and Lucy Packer helped Team Wales secure a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas last year

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games rugby sevens gets underway on Friday at 16:30 local time (GMT +10) with the first two rounds of the women's pool stages.