Sevens young guns up for Canadian assignment
13 April 2016
RUGBY SEVENS: Qantas Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh has turned to youth for the Canadian leg of the 2015-16 Sevens World Series this weekend.
Youth Olympics Gold Medallist Shenae Ciesiolka (18 years), Commonweath Youth Games Gold Medalist Demi Hayes (17 years) and new signing Georgina Friedrichs (20 years) will all make their World Series debuts in Langford.
Nicole Beck returns after being rested for Atlanta while Ellia Green (shoulder), Brooke Anderson (leg), Taleena Simon (shoulder) and Sharni Williams (knee) remain sidelined. Evania Pelite is also unavailable after injuring her elbow in Atlanta while Charlotte Caslick, Alicia Quirk and Emma Tonegato are rested.
Shannon Parry will once again captain the side in the absence of Sharni Williams.
Qantas Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "I'm looking forward to seeing a few of the debutants stepping up and demonstrating the depth of the squad [Ciesiolka, Hayes and Friedrichs] as they face up to the challenge of playing against the best Women's Sevens exponents in the world.
"This tournament enables us to build strength and depth whilst maintaining focus on the World Series and Olympics. The Sevens World Series is unforgiving and no-one will be doing us any favours.
"Demi is a fine athletic forward and Georgie is a well-rounded jack of all trades player who is as brave as anyone I've seen on a rugby field. Everyone saw the footwork Shenae has in her locker when we took on Ireland at the Sydney 7s in February - it's a very complementary mix of young 7s players."
Australia has been drawn in Pool A for the tournament alongside France, Brazil and Russia. Despite needing a maximum of 27 points over the final two legs of the series in Langford and Clermont-Ferrand to claim Australia's maiden World Series title, Walsh added his side isn't paying too much attention to the current standings.
"As a team we don't look too much into those type of statistics. We focus on the processes and the results take care of themselves. Clearly, we're in a pretty good spot on the World Series ladder but come the weekend all of our energies will be channelled towards France, Russia and Brazil."
Australia lead the 2015-16 Women's Sevens series having won each of the three tournaments this season - in Dubai, Sao Paulo and Atlanta - to date. New Zealand trail in second spot 14 points behind with this weekend's host nation Canada third.
All of the action from Day One and the first half of Finals Day from the Canada Sevens from Langford will be streamed live via worldrugby.org. FOX SPORTS only will broadcast the tournament from the Plate Final onwards.
Qantas Australian Women's Sevens fixtures for the Canada Sevens at Westhills Stadium, Langford, 17 April:
Australia v France, Pool A, 4.44am AEST (17 April)
Australia v Brazil, Pool A, 7.36am AEST (17 April)
Australia v Russia, Pool A, 10.28am AEST (17 April)
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the Canada Sevens at Westhills Stadium, Langford, 17 April:
1. Shannon Parry. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
2. Brooke Walker. Place of Birth: Auckland, NZ. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD
3. Nicole Beck. Place of Birth: Bulli, NSW
4. Tiana Penitani. Place of Birth: Canberra, ACT. Hometown: Maroubra, NSW
5. Dominique du Toit. Place of Birth: Maronderra, Zimbabwe. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
6. Demi Hayes. Place of Birth: Toowoomba, QLD
7. Georgina Friedrichs. Place of Birth: Harare, Zimbabwe. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
8. Chloe Dalton. Place of Birth: Singapore. Hometown: Mona Vale, NSW
9. Amy Turner. Place of Birth: Tokoroa, NZ
10. Shenae Ciesiolka. Place of Birth: Toowoomba, QLD. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
11. Emilee Cherry. Place of Birth: Roma, QLD. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
12. Mahalia Murphy. Place of Birth: Blacktown, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
Australian Rugby Union