Aussies Women’s Sevens set for title-tilt in France
18 May 2016
RUGBY SEVENS: Qantas Australian Women's Head Coach Tim Walsh has named Sharni Williams and Ellia Green in his title-chasing squad for the final leg of the 2015-16 HSBC World Series in Clermont-Ferrand, France (28-30 May).
The Australians head to France as they bid to become the country's first-ever World Series champions in either the Men's or Women's game. A finish of sixth position or better in Clermont-Ferrand will confirm a maiden series triumph.
Batlow-born Williams has recovered from a knee injury while wing-wizard Green is back after a shoulder problem. Walsh has also recalled Alicia Quirk, Emma Tonegato and Charlotte Caslick after the trio were rested for the last round in Canada.
The 12-players chosen for Clermont-Ferrand make up Australia's most experienced squad ever selected at this level (159 Sevens World Series caps).
Taleena Simon (shoulder), Gemma Etheridge (knee) and Brooke Anderson (leg) are the only players unavailable for selection due to injury.
Tim Walsh said: "The squad has laid down the foundations for a history-making opportunity. To win a world title does not come around very often and to win the most prestigious series in Women's Rugby would be a huge honour. The series demands respect and that is what we have given it from day one. Also, what better way to prepare for an Olympics?
"That said, it's one game at a time for us. We expect nothing less than professional preparation and high performance from each other. Our pool is very competitive and I can see France in particular being strong on their home turf while Ireland and Fiji have demonstrated on more than one occasion what they are capable of."
Meanwhile, Shannon Parry has been named as co-captain of the Australian Women's Sevens team alongside Sharni Williams.
Walsh added: "Shannon has led the team as captain terrifically well over the past three tournaments and making her co-captain takes some of the load from Sharni's shoulders. It really allows her to focus on performance after a lengthy injury. Our priority first and foremost is to get Sharni firing again and getting back to the form that sees her as one of the premier forwards in the game."
World Rugby will stream Day One LIVE from France and will continue to do so up to and including the Cup Semi-Finals. FOX SPORTS only will broadcast all of the action from the Plate Final onwards.
Qantas Australian Women's Sevens fixtures in Clermont-Ferrand, France, 28-29 May:
Australia v Fiji, Pool C, 8.28pm AEST (28 May)
Australia v Ireland, Pool C, 11.12pm AEST (28 May)
Australia v France, Pool C, 1.56am AEST (29 May)
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the France Sevens at Clermont-Ferrand, 28-29 May:
Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Nicole Beck, Tiana Penitani, Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite, Charlotte Caslick, Chloe Dalton, Amy Turner, Alicia Quirk, Emilee Cherry, Ellia Green, 13th player -Georgie Friedrichs