Australian teams named for first round of HSBC SVNS world series

Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 2:54 AM
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia

Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens squads have announced their teams for the first round of the global HSBC SVNS series this weekend in Dubai.

Australia’s Women’s team retains a strong and experienced 13-player squad, with exciting young Queenslander Kaitlin Shave named to make her long-awaited and well-deserved debut for the national team.

The side includes 11 players that delivered the squad’s unprecedented three trophies in 2022 (Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup and World Series).

Recently re-signed to Australia Sevens until 2026, superstar sisters Maddison and Teagan Levi will play a critical role in the side’s bid to win the Dubai title, while captain Charlotte Caslick and her Olympic gold medal-winning team-mate Sharni Smale (nee Williams) add their considerable influence to a side filled with star power.

John Manenti’s Men’s squad is notable for the return of Ben Dowling following a season with the NSW Waratahs, while development squad members Henry Palmer and Ben Dalton have been named. Last season’s rookies Dally Bird and Hayden Sargeant have maintained their places.

Nick Malouf returns as captain, with a host of experienced campaigners such as Maurice Longbottom, Dietrich Roache, James and Josh Turner rounding out the side.

Youngsters Tim Clements and Nathan Lawson will aim to build on their experience, and Matt Gonzalez will be hoping the injury problems of last season are well behind him.

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

Australia Women’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh: “The program has spent the best part of preseason training and playing around the world. The objective being to play more rugby, increase player and team rugby IQ, resilience, positional depth and team combinations.

“Tom Carter has challenged and physically extended the team to an elite level, whilst consistently having 85% of the squad at full training capacity. We also have the full squad available for selection and welcome Kaitlin Shave who will make her long-awaited debut with the Australian team.

“We are very fortunate to have experienced players in Charlotte Caslick and Sharni Smale leading the team during such an intense Olympic season – both have navigated the challenges of such seasons, and they know what to expect.

“Sevens continues to go from strength to strength and, in an Olympic year, the launch of the invigorated new format will only enhance the entertainment spectacle and world class product the HSBC World Sevens Series delivers.”

Australia Men’s Sevens Head Coach, John Manenti: “Finally we have arrived at the start line for a huge season. There has plenty of work done to put us in a strong position to perform.

“Consistency is what we are searching for throughout the season and our depth is starting to build nicely to put us in a position to do that.

“We know if we play with the physicality, skill & detail that we’ve put in during the preseason, we’ll be in good shape to get a result in Dubai.”

Australia Women’s Sevens team for Dubai SVNS:

2. Sharni Smale

3. Faith Nathan

4. Dominique Du Toit

5. Teagan Levi

6. Madison Ashby

7. Charlotte Caslick (C)

8. Kaitlin Shave*

10. Bella Nasser 

11. Demi Hayes

12. Maddison Levi

22. Bienne Terita

55. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea

65. Sariah Paki

*Denotes potential debut

Australia Men’s Sevens team for Dubai SVNS:

2. Ben Dowling

3. Henry Palmer*

4. Dietrich Roache

5. Tim Clements

7. Josh Turner

8. Dally Bird

9. Matt Gonzalez

10. Nick Malouf (C)

11. Maurice Longbottom

12. Nathan Lawson

13. Ben Dalton*

14. James Turner

25. Hayden Sargeant

*Denotes potential debut