The Commonwealth Games have confirmed the Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams for Birmingham 2022.
Both sides have named very strong squads as they hunt for an elusive gold.
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Charlotte Caslick and Demi Hayes will co-captain the World Series champions, eager to go one better from the 2018 edition on the Gold Coast.
The squad features four of the World Sevens Series Dream Team members, with Caslick named alongside Maddison Levi, Madison Ashby and Faith Nathan
Maddison is joined by sister Teagan, with teenage sensation Jesse Southwell earning selection as part of nine debutants.
“The Gold Coast Games were one of the best experiences I have had in the sport, playing in front of friends and family, and coming away with a silver medal,” Hayes said in a statement.
“The sport has grown so much since then, and I have also grown as a player, and now I am so excited to be leading this team of amazing players who are heading to Birmingham.
“We’ve enjoyed an incredible World Rugby Sevens Series, which was a reward for a lot of hard work, sacrifices and determination from the group… now our focus is taking that form into the Commonwealth Games… I can’t wait to get to Birmingham.”
As for the men’s, they are boosted by the return of Wallabies center Samu Kerevi.
Kerevi made his Sevens debut at the Tokyo Olympics, producing a man-of-the-match performance during last week’s opening Test win over England.
He is joined by NSW Waratahs flyer Mark Nawaqanitawase after his breakout season in Super Rugby Pacific.
Nick Malouf captains the side, joined by Maurice Longbottom, the lone returning player from the campaign four years ago.
London hero Henry Paterson is amongst the 12 debutants, motivated to perform after missing the Olympics due to injury.
“It is awesome to be selected for the Australian Team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“It has been a crazy year for many of us, from the Tokyo Olympics, straight into the World Ruby Sevens Series events, and now heading to Birmingham, but it has meant our squad has formed a really solid foundation, and we are playing some great Rugby.
“For most of us, this will be the first time competing at the Commonwealth Games, but guys like Maurice add some extra experience and knowledge – we’re feeling pretty confident after a good season, and we’ve got a good mix of experience and youth, which will make sure we are ready to go in Birmingham.”
“Congratulations to the 26 Rugby 7s players who have been selected to the Australian Team for Birmingham,” Chef de Mission Petria Thomas said added.
“The selection of today’s Rugby 7s Team Members takes our total team numbers to over 400 of our expected 435 Team Members ready to be bold in gold in Birmingham.
“Both sides have been in wonderful form recently at the World Rugby Sevens Series events, and I know they will be working hard as they build towards Birmingham at the end of this month.
“The Rugby 7s competition at the Games is always a fast, thrilling and fun atmosphere, and I am sure that our Team Members will embrace the packed stands of supporters and are ready to give their best at the Games.”
Charlotte Caslick (co-c)
Dominique Du Toit