Rugby Australia has today welcomed the Australian Olympic Committee confirmation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic sides.
The Australian Olympic Committee announced 24 athletes to the Australian Olympic team for Tokyo for Rugby Sevens.
With 205 World Series caps, the women’s side sees Rio Olympians Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite and Charlotte Caslick return for their second Games, while Demi Hayes, Dominique Du Toit, Sariah Paki, Faith Nathan and Maddison Ashby make their Olympic debut.
Boasting 174 caps of World Series experience in the men’s squad, Nick Malouf and Henry Hutchison return for their second Olympics, joined by debutants Lachlan Anderson, Joe Pincus, Dylan Pietsch, Henry Paterson, Maurice Longbottom, Joshua Coward, Joshua Turner, Lachlan Miller, Samu Kerevi and Dietrich Roache.
The women’s team has an average age of 24, with Australian Head Coach John Manenti balancing both experience and youth as the team looks to defend their gold medal status.
The men’s debutants include Dylan Pietsch, a proud Wiradjuri man and Maurice Longbottom, a member of the Dharawal nation, along with 33-Test and World Cup Wallaby, Samu Kerevi, who has transitioned from the XVs format of the game.
The men’s team will face off against New Zealand, Argentina and Republic of Korea in their pool, while the women’s team have been drawn against USA, China and hosts Japan.
Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry will co-captain the defending Olympic champion women’s side, while Nick Malouf will captain the men’s team.
Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman welcomed the athletes to the Australian Olympic Team.“It is fantastic to announce these 24 athletes to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo,” Mr Chesterman said.
“Rugby Sevens debut in 2016 and that historic women’s gold is one of the standout memories from Rio and we are thrilled to have such strong squads named for Tokyo.”
“COVID and the postponement has made this a tough campaign, and today’s selection is testament to the extraordinary determination of these athletes to be at their best and to represent their country despite those difficulties.
“Thank you to Rugby Australia for developing a great sevens program and helping take athletes from their first game of rugby to competing on the world’s biggest sporting stage and to the players’ families, friends, teammates and supporters who have been their every step of the way.”
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “On behalf of the entire Rugby community, I’d like to congratulate every athlete on their selection.
“It is one of the world’s premier sporting events and I have no doubt every individual will represent their clubs, friends, families and country to the best of their ability.
“I speak on behalf of everyone in the Rugby family in wishing you good luck, we’ll be right behind you the whole way and can’t wait to welcome you home.”
Australian Women’s Head Coach John Manenti said: “This has arguably been one of the most challenging team selection processes in my career as a coach.
“As coaches, we have selected the best performing squad, and while some decisions were tough, ultimately, we have selected a team which will put us in the best position to perform.
“Playing last weekend has been great preparation ahead of Tokyo, game time is always important, and it gave us an opportunity to get that.
“There is a good combination of youth and experience within the team, but this is a new team and we’ll be looking to write our own Olympic chapter,” Manenti said.
Australian Men’s Head Coach, Tim Walsh said: “The most anticipated Olympics in history is only 20 days away and today we finalised the final 12 representing the Aussie 7s program, Rugby Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee.
“We are a diverse squad of individuals and skillsets and together we are ready to challenge the best players and teams in the Rugby sevens world.Today we are both physically and mentally fit, thanks to players and management making performance choices and doing their job to their best ability.
“Congratulations to the final 12 and the entire Sevens program for delivering us to this point, the next month is going to be one to remember,” Walsh said.
Australian Women’s Sevens Team for Tokyo 2020
- Shannon Parry
- Sharni Williams
- Faith Nathan
- Dominique Du Toit
- Emma Tonegato
- Evania Pelite
- Charlotte Caslick
- Madison Ashby
- Tia Hinds*
- Sariah Paki
- Demi Hayes
- Maddison Levi*
Australian Men’s Sevens Team for Tokyo 2020
- Lachlan Anderson
- Joe Pincus
- Dylan Pietsch
- Nicholas Malouf
- Henry Paterson*
- Maurice Longbottom
- Joshua Coward
- Joshua Turner
- Lachlan Miller
- Samu Kerevi*
- Dietrich Roache*
- Henry Hutchison
* Denotes uncapped player