It’s been a while since the Sydney Sevens so I’ll start with a little bit of a recap. We finished second in our pool, going down to USA in our final pool match. We then had a tough quarter-final against France but proceeded successfully through to the final after beating a really strong on-form Ireland team in the semi. The final was far from our standard and New Zealand were too strong for us, so going into a 12-week break before the next HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series event we had a decent period to work on our game.
In this period we were lucky enough to be able to play two tournaments/trial matches. The first was two weeks after the Sydney Sevens and entailed six games against Japan at Narrabeen in Sydney. While these two days were awesome for our combinations on the field and game time, it was also when I sustained a grade 3 torn syndesmosis. For those not sure what a syndesmosis is, it is essentially the weight bearing ligament in your ankle. I underwent surgery and luckily for me I had no cartilage damage. This means that my recovery time will be a lot faster and fingers crossed has run super smoothly so far.
The next tournament was early March in Nice, France. We took over a squad of 15 girls and spent a week training against the French team before travelling to Nice to play against Spain, Japan, France, England, Canada, Ireland and Russia. This was again a fantastic opportunity for the girls to get some good game time under their belts and form some on-field combinations.
Since the team arrived back at HQ it has been all cylinders firing at training with the girls banking some quality training. In the meantime I have been charging on in rehab and getting more and more excited for Easter. A fun fact about me: Easter is one of my absolute favourite times of the year because bread (hot cross buns) and chocolate (Easter eggs) are my two favourite things in this world and they are everywhere for about four months before Easter even arrives!
The main reason that I am so excited for Easter this year, though, is because it is when the Kitakyushu Sevens is on!
When our coach John Manenti named the team he mentioned that this was the toughest team selection he has had to make, which is really exciting for what’s to come in Kitakyushu. We have Charlotte Caslick (pictured) back after four months out from a torn ligament in her hand and Mahalia Murphy back in the squad after some solid training.
The girls will face a pool of China, Spain and Canada, all of which will be tough games but after an awesome training block I think they can go in feeling confident that they’ve prepared the best they can be.
Australia are currently sitting tied third with Canada on the world series ladder, just two points behind the USA with New Zealand sitting well ahead, 12 points clear of the USA. With three series tournaments left we are obviously aiming to achieve nothing less than gold at all three, but remaining in the top three will secure us automatic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games. And for us that is the most important goal for the season so that we can have some downtime at the end of the season and regroup for the big year next year.
Speaking of big year, the other massively exciting news that was released since my last column is the addition of new world series rounds for the women in Cape Town, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The women’s series will now consist of eight rounds, six of which will be held alongside the men. It will all begin in Colorado in October followed by a double leg in Dubai and Cape Town, another double leg in Sydney and New Zealand, the Hong Kong Sevens, Langford and finally the Paris Sevens before the Olympic Games in July-August.
How exciting is this for the women’s game?
But first is the Kitakyushu Sevens and wow, the Aussie girls are on fire.
“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” – Richard Kline