Meet the Aussie Pacific Games Rugby Sevens side
7 July 2015
PAC GAMES: The 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby will see Australia field a Rugby Sevens side for the first time at the competition.
Head Coach Tim Walsh has named an interesting blend of experienced World Series campaigners in his squad as well as several players that are perhaps a little less known to the Rugby community.
We introduce you to a few of the players in our Who's Who guide to the Australian team competing in Papua New Guinea.
L-R Back Row
Laura Waldie. Camp Hill, QLD.
Playmaker Laura joined the national Women's program just last week having impressed the coaching staff over a long period of time. Laura was part of the historic Australian team that claimed a Gold Medal at the Youth Olympic Games in China and performed well at the National Sevens Championships while representing Queensland.
Tanisha Stanton. Newcastle, NSW.
Nineteen-year-old Tanisha, originally from Dubbo and latterly of Newcastle in New South Wales, is a forward by trade. Tanisha joined the Sevens program in September 2014 having represented her state at Under 17s, Under 19s and all-age level. Her sporting icon is Cathy Freeman.
Mollie Gray. Newcastle, NSW.
Mollie is yet to make her Sevens World Series debut since signing with the Australian Women's program in January. However, she does have international experience having played for the Wallaroos at the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup in France.
Brooke Walker. Brisbane, QLD.
Brooke won her first World Series cap in Atlanta in March earlier this year. A ball-player by trade, the 20-year-old, was part of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival that was held in Sydney.
Dom Du Toit. Toowoomba, QLD.
Another Youth Olympic Games Gold Medallist last year, the lightning-fast winger scored eight tries throughout the campaign in Nanjing that included a hat-trick in the Final against the highly-rated Canadians. Dom earned a contract with the Australian Sevens program in January 2014.
Brooke Anderson. Brighton-le-Sands, NSW.
Brooke was co-captain of the team that won a Gold Medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in August 2014. The utility has one World Series cap to her name from Guangzhou, China in March 2013.
Sarah Holvorsen. Newcastle, NSW.
Sarah captained the NSW Schoolgirls team to victory in 2014 and was tracked by the Australian Sevens management staff from as long ago as October 2013. Sarah has been part of several different development camps and was watched closely at this year's National Sevens Championships in Narrabeen, where she impressed to the extent that she was selected for the Pacific Games.
Mahalia Murphy. Sydney, NSW.
Another player closely monitored by the Women's Sevens program over the past two years, Mahalia rose to national prominence when she scored a hat-trick of tries for the Australian Jillaroos Rugby League team against New Zealand last month. She has represented both the National Indigenous team as well as her state of New South Wales in the National Sevens Championships. An exciting talent.
Nikki Etheridge. Toowoomba, QLD.
Nikki has represented Australia on seven occasions in the Sevens World Series - the most recent being in Langford, Canada in April this year. Born in Tamworth, Nikki also played at the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow.
Nicole Beck. Bulli, NSW
Twenty-seven-year-old Nicole was handed the captaincy by Tim Walsh for the Pacific Games before being handed the honour of flagbearer for the Australian team at the Pacific Games Opening Ceremony. Nicole is a Rugby World Cup Sevens winner and has won five World Series caps since making her debut in Guangzhou, China in 2014.
Taleena Simon. Sydney, NSW.
Taleena was the first Aboriginal player to sign a contract with the Women's Sevens program last July. The quietly-spoken Redfern flyer was named 13th player on several occasions throughout the 2014/15 Women's Sevens World Series and viewers of the Pacific Games can expect Taleena to unleash her pace on opposition defences all the way through the competition.
Georgie Friedrichs. Toowoomba, QLD.
Georgie played at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January 2013 alongside the likes of national stars Charlotte Caslick, Tiana Penitani and Evania Pelite. From what is turning out to be a thriving Rugby Sevens breeding ground in Toowoomba in Queensland, Georgie has represented crack invitational outfit The Tribe.
NITV will broadcast the Rugby Sevens from Papua New Guinea on free-to-air Channel 34 and Channel 144 on Foxtel with Australian Sevens legend Mark Ella the panel expert.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens results in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 8-10 July:
Australia v Fiji, Pool Stage, 8 July, 12.00pm AEST
Australia v New Caledonia, Pool Stage, 8 July, 3.18pm AEST
Australia v Tahiti, Pool Stage, 8 July, 6.36pm AEST
Australia v Tonga, Pool Stage, 9 July, 1.06pm AEST
Australia v Samoa, Pool Stage, 9 July, 4.24pm AEST
Australia v Papua New Guinea, 9 July, 7.42pm AEST
All Finals Matches, 10 July
Australian Rugby Union