Aussie 7s women in reach of world title

·2-min read

Olympic champions New Zealand will return to the women's rugby sevens World Series just as Australia eye a drought-breaking third world title.

Tim Walsh's side can sew up the title with one tournament to spare with a third-placed finish or better in Langford, Canada, from Sunday.

COVID-19 has kept New Zealand at home previously this year, allowing 2016 Olympic champions Australia a clearer path to a title they haven't held since 2018.

Since then New Zealand have claimed every major honour, including an extra-time win to claim gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Their return has come too late to push for a world title, but ensures there will be a tasty rematch at Birmingham's Commonwealth Games later this year.

"We are so pleased to have our historical nemesis in New Zealand back on the circuit," Walsh said.

"We have had some tremendous battles in the past and expect them to be performing at their best in their first outing since (Olympic) gold in Tokyo (last year).

"Our objective is always to perform and, in the process, win.

"The Langford leg provides us with an opportunity to mathematically secure the World Series for the third time.

"This would be a tremendous achievement and objective one in our 2022 calendar year plan."

University Sevens Series find Jesse Southwell will debut for Australia, who have three golds and a bronze from the four legs so far.

Australia will play Mexico, Spain and Canada in Sunday's round-robin action.

There is no men's leg in Canada, with the third-placed Australian side's next assignment in Toulouse, France from May 20.

AUSTRALIAN WOMEN: Lily Dick, Sharni Williams, Faith Nathan, Dom Du Toit, Jesse Southwell, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Charlotte Caslick, Madison Ashby, Bienne Terita, Sariah Paki, Demi Hayes, Maddison Levi, Jakiya Whitfeld.

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