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Rugby 7s squads confirmed for World Series

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Australia’s men and women Rugby 7s squads have been confirmed ahead of the 2021-22 World Series.

The men’s squad reflects a drastic change in program structure, with the Rugby 7s program set to work collaboratively with Super Rugby clubs to allow players to transition between the two.

This has seen their core full-time squad reduced to just eight players, headlined by Gold Coast 2018 Team Member and Australian vice-captain Maurice Longbottom and dual Olympians Nick Malouf and Henry Hutchison.

Josh Turner, Dietrich Roache and Nathan Lawson have also been retained following the Tokyo Olympics, with Henry Paterson rounding out the full-time playing group.

New South Wales Waratahs young gun Darby Lancaster has also been added, with the flyer set to split time between the programs in 2022.

Meanwhile, the women’s squad reflects a new generation of talent coming through, with nine players under the age of 21.

This is headlined by the Levi sisters, both Maddison and Teagan, having relocated to the Australian training base in Moore Park after opting against playing AFLW for the Gold Coast Suns in 2022.

The squad features Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallists Demi Hayes, Charlotte Caslick, Dominique Du Toit, Cassie Staples and Sharni Williams.

Australia faced off against Oceania on day three of the Oceania Sevens at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

“It’s a really exciting time for our Sevens programs with an important three years ahead featuring the Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup 7s and Paris Olympics ahead,” Director of Rugby Scott Johnson said in a statement.

“The new collaborative approach between our sevens programs and the Super Rugby clubs will ensure there are opportunities for all of our elite development players to get game time at an international level, benefiting both formats of our game.

“Our players and staff have put in a lot of work to get the teams ready for their return to the World Series, and we’re looking forward to seeing them in action next weekend.”

The squad will travel to Dubai for the first two legs of the Series, before heading to Spain in January 2022.

In the opening event on November 26-27, the men’s side have been drawn in Pool A alongside Olympic champs Fiji, Canada and France.

Also drawn in Pool A, the women will take on Olympic finalists France, Fiji, Canada and Brazil

“Firstly we’re incredibly grateful to be able to represent Australia again on the World Series, and it’s something which isn’t lost on the squads,” Australian Sevens Performance Manager Scott Bowen added.

“We’ve been building a lot of depth in our program for a number of years now through our pathway programs, so the newly contracted sides very much represent a reset as we turn our attention not only to the World Series but also Birmingham in 2022 and Paris in 2024.

“We have a total of eight uncapped players across the program, as well as a strong group of younger players on development contracts who are pushing into the main squads.

“While we’ve lost a lot of our players, who joined the program back in 2014 when we centralised, I have every confidence in the new group we have assembled and am looking forward to seeing them write the next chapter.”

 

2021-22 Australian Women’s Rugby 7s National Squad:

Rhiannon Byers, 10 caps
Charlotte Caslick, 33 caps
Lily Dick, 5 caps
Dominique Du Toit, 15 caps
Demi Hayes, 12 caps
Tia Hinds
Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea
Maddison Levi
Teagan Levi
Faith Nathan, 4 caps
Sariah Paki, 10 caps
Cassie Staples, 12 caps
Bienne Terita
Jakiya Whitfeld, 1 cap
Sharni Williams, 35 caps

2021-22 Australian Men’s Rugby 7s National Squad:

Henry Hutchison, 32 caps
Nathan Lawson
Maurice Longbottom, 20 caps
Nick Malouf, 40 caps
Henry Paterson
Dietrich Roache
Joshua Turner, 6 caps
Darby Lancaster

with thanks Rugby Australia.

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