Aussie women primed for Oceania Sevens
Australia Women’s Sevens coach Chris Lane has named his squad of 12 for the Oceania Women’s Sevens Championships taking place in Lautoka, Fiji, on 3-4 August.
The tournament is also doubling up as the next step in the qualification process for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, following the European tournament in Moscow which saw England, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Ireland all book their place for next year's tournament in Moscow.
Australia will be defending their title having won the inaugural Women's RWC Sevens in Dubai in 2009, and have been seeded top of Pool A alongside Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for this regional qualifier. New Zealand head Pool B, ahead of hosts Fiji, the Cook Islands and Tonga.
With current world champions Australia and runners-up New Zealand already qualified for the Sevens showcase event next year in Moscow, the next best-placed team from the Oceania Sevens will gain a passage to the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) regional qualifier in Pune, India, in October. The top three placed teams from that tournament will qualify directly for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.
“It’s still about growth,” said head coach Lane.
"While we have already qualified we’re treating the upcoming camp and the tournament very seriously and we’re looking to continue building on our strengths.
“We haven’t played any of the teams in our pool before so that’s really good and is sign that Rugby Sevens is continuing to expand."
Lane’s side for the Oceania Women’s Sevens Championships features three members of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009-winning side in current captain Rebecca Tavo, Tricia Brown and Bo De La Cruz.
It also features five members of Australia’s Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 side with Iliseva Batibasaga, Brown, Cheyenne Campbell, Cobie-Jane Morgan and Shannon Parry.
The side also features some relatively new faces with youngster Alicia Quirk getting set to earn her third cap and Amy Turner set to make just her second tournament appearance.
“We’ve had our development year and learned a lot in a short time and now it’s time to get some transfer from our training into tournaments," added Lane.
“We’re not too far off the mark but we’re always looking for continued learning and growth. Even though we’ve already qualified we still want to win, it’s still the Oceania Championships.”
The side will prepare for the tournament with a four-day camp at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen from 28-31 July before departing for Fiji on Wednesday 1 August.
Australia Women's Sevens squad: Iliseva Batibasaga, Tricia Brown, Alicia Quirk, Cheyenne Campbell, Emilee Cherry, Bo De La Cruz, Emma Gillogly, Cobie-Jane Morgan, Shannon Parry, Shontelle Stowers, Rebecca Tavo (C), Amy Turner
- South Africa
- New Zealand