Ashby re-signs as Australia Sevens squads confirmed for Vanocuver

Fri, Feb 16, 2024, 10:00 PM
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
Madi Ashby has re-signed with the Australia Sevens for a further two years. Photo: Getty Images
Madi Ashby has re-signed with the Australia Sevens for a further two years. Photo: Getty Images

Australia Women’s Sevens young gun Madison Ashby has re-committed to the program until the end of 2026, in a massive boost as both the women’s and men’s squads prepare to depart for Vancouver.

Having made her debut for the side as an 18-year-old back in 2019, Ashby has gone on to become a regular in Tim Walsh’s team having pulled on the gold jersey in 117 matches and was part of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic team.

The now 23-year-old, was a key fixture in the side’s remarkable run in the 2021-22 season, where they won the Triple-Crown of World Series Champions, Commonwealth Games gold medallists and Rugby Sevens World Cup winners.

From Western Sydney, Ashby represented the Manly Mermaids as a junior and has come through the Australian pathways having represented her country at both schools and Oceania Level prior to the world stage.

Ashby will join her teammates in travelling to Vancouver as the side looks to continue their strong form this season, winning the first two tournaments before picking up a silver medal in Perth last month.

Charlotte Caslick will again captain the side, with Tia Hinds the only addition to the squad that competed in Perth, replacing Bienne Terita who has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Re-signed Australia Women’s Sevens star Madi Ashby said: “It was a no-brainer for me to stay with the team and we’ve got such a young group.”

“I look at Sevens as the pinnacle of women’s sport at the moment. Only the fittest of the fittest can play this sport and I’m only 23, so with another two years under my belt playing with the best of the best it’s only going to improve my skills and ability.

“Sevens is where my heart lies at the moment and I want to start loyal to them and I want to be there with them.”

Australia Women’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh said: “It’s easy to forget Madi only just turned 23 when you look at her list of achievements already in the game.”

“Like a lot of the women in this squad, she’s got a massive future ahead of her and her work ethic will ensure she reaches her potential.

“As a team, we’re looking forward to getting over to Vancouver. We’ve had a good fortnight of preparation in Sydney and will be looking to build on some learnings from the Perth tournament as we continue to grow throughout the season.”

Meanwhile in positive news for the men's squad, freshly crowned 2023 Australia Men’s Sevens Player of the Year Henry Paterson and Michael Icely will play their first tournaments of the season after overcoming shoulder and ankle injuries respectively.

They'll replace livewire Maurice Longbottom who will miss the tournament as he is managed through a minor calf complaint in what is a massive year culminating in the Olympics in Paris.

The athletic Darby Lancaster has also returned to his duties with the Melbourne Rebels ahead of the Super Rugby Pacific season kicking off next week.

Australia Men’s Sevens coach John Manenti said: “We’re thrilled to be able to welcome back Henry and Michael to the squad.”

“They’ve both worked extremely hard to get right and earn their selection and not only are they chomping at pull on the gold jersey, they’re also bringing energy and enthusiasm to the rest of the squad.

“As a group we’ve been continuing to work hard since returning from Perth, and we know we’ll need to keep improving as we look to build momentum throughout the season.”

The Women currently sit 12 points clear at the top of the standings, while the Men are in third, just two competition points behind Fiji.

Both squads will depart tomorrow for what is the fourth leg of the 2023-24 HSBC SVNS.

Every round of the HSBC SVNS series will be shown exclusive, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.

Australia Women’s Sevens team for Vancouver SVNS

2. Sharni Smale 3. Faith Nathan 4. Dominique Du Toit 5. Teagan Levi 6. Madison Ashby 7. Charlotte Caslick (c) 8. Kaitlin Shave 9. Tia Hinds 10. Bella Nasser 12. Maddison Levi 13. Heidi Dennis 55. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea 65. Sariah Paki

Women’s Pool for Vancouver SVNS
  • Australia
  • USA
  • Fiji
  • Japan
Australia Men’s Sevens team for Vancouver SVNS
  1. Henry Hutchison
  2. Ben Dowling
  3. Henry Palmer
  4. Dietrich Roache
  5. Tim Clements
  6. Henry Paterson
  7. Josh Turner
  8. Matt Gonzalez
  9. Nick Malouf (c)
  10. Nathan Lawson
  11. James Turner
  12. Hayden Sargeant
  13. Michael Icely
Men’s Pool for Vancouver SVNS
  • Australia
  • France
  • USA
  • Samoa