The Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens programs have today confirmed their travelling squads for both the Malaga and Seville legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Spain.
A travelling party of 28 players will depart for Spain as both teams build on their recent World Series success and remain focused on the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup scheduled for the second half of the year.
The Aussie Women’s Sevens will look to claim their third-consecutive Sevens World Series title for the second time, last achieving this feat during the 2015-16 World Series.
Meanwhile, the Australian Men’s program will travel with a new leader, as Henry Hutchison temporarily replaces Nick Malouf as the men’s team captain, with Malouf taking leave from the program to get married.
After a nail-biting final in Dubai, the men’s team will be looking to go one better in Spain, after falling just short of current World Champions South Africa by three points.
Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach John Manenti said: “It’s fantastic to be again able to return to the World Series and represent our country given all of the COVID disruptions the team has faced over the break.
“While I’ve only had a short time in charge of the men’s program, as a staff, we have identified some areas of the team’s game from Dubai which we will look to improve on in Spain and this is a challenge which I know excites the entire men’s program.
“I’d like to congratulate Henry on his appointment as captain of the side. As an existing senior leader in the team, he understands the role and what is required, but I have no doubt he’ll be ably supported by his teammates as he fills in for Nick.
“At the same time, I’d like to congratulate Nick and his partner Aimee on finally tying the knot, it’s been a long-time coming, but as a team and Sevens family, we wish them all the best on their wedding day”, Manenti added.
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Returning Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh said: "I'm honoured to again be afforded the opportunity to lead the women's program as they return to the World Series next weekend, and I can't wait to get on the plane as their head coach.
"Tom Carter and Francesca Faulkner have made a considered effort to keep continuity during this transition period, and from the outset, I'd like to thank them for helping us achieve this during the transition.
"Both have been composed and set performance as the foundation of their actions. I'm pleased in what we've achieved so far, and more importantly, the team is in great space both physically and mentally.
"We decided to travel with every available team member, allowing us every opportunity to field the best-prepared squad of 13 at both Malaga and Seville. We have themed the Spanish legs of the World Series 'the snowball campaign', as all of us work in the same direction and gather momentum for the year ahead," Walsh said.
Both coaches will confirm their final match-day squads ahead of the first tournament kicking off on 21 January.
Australian Sevens touring squad for Spain:
Madison Ashby, 7 caps
Charlotte Caslick, 35 caps
Lily Dick, 7 caps
Dominique Du Toit, 17 caps
Demi Hayes (c), 14 caps
Tia Hinds, 2 caps
Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, 2 caps
Maddison Levi, 2 caps
Teagan Levi, 1 cap
Faith Nathan, 6 caps
Sariah Paki, 12 caps
Cassie Staples, 12 caps
Bienne Terita, *
Jakiya Whitfeld, 2 cap
Ben Dowling, 2 caps
Stu Dunbar, 3 caps
Henry Hutchinson (c), 34 caps
Darby Lancaster, *
Maurice Longbottom, 21 caps
Henry Paterson, 2 caps
Dietrich Roache, 2 caps
Jed Stuart, 2 caps
Corey Toole, 2 caps
Josh Turner, 8 caps
Solomone Vosaicake, 2 caps
Yool Yool, 2 caps