One week to go until Series begins in Dubai

(IRB.COM) Thursday 21 November 2013
 
 One week to go until Series begins in Dubai
Emilee Cherry admits Australia "lacked physical edge and it really cost us" in the inaugural Series

Bags are being packed, last minute preparations are being put in place and 12 women's Sevens teams are getting ready for action.

The Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off in one week, and the IRB Women's Sevens World Series will get proceedings underway on the main pitch in the Unitted Arab Emirates.

Defending champions New Zealand face stiff competition in Dubai this year, with 11 other teams out to prove themselves in the run up to the Olympic Games in 2016. And their toughest competition next week could come from their nearest neighbours Australia, as they arrive in Dubai with a spring in their step.

New coach Tim Walsh has guided the side to regional success at the Oceania Sevens recently and the side had a strong run-out at the Coral Coast Sevens leading into Dubai.

Last season the Australians finished the inaugural World Series in fifth place, but one of their key attacking weapons Emilee Cherry believes they are now better-equipped to scale the heights this year.

"I look back at videos of two years ago and the game has changed so much, it's become more physical," says Cherry, talking on the latest 'IRB Sevens World' show, which is now airing on broadcasters around the world.

"It was very much about individual skill and that passing game, and now the physicality has also come into it," added the former touch rugby world champion.

"As a team one thing that I think we lacked last Series was that physical edge and it really cost us."

Key to the Australians' increasing 'tough' edge is captain Sharni Williams, whose physicality was one of the talking points of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

"Sharni is a great leader on and off the field," said Cherry. "She's the ultimate Sevens player and to have someone like that in our team, we can really look up to her and aspire."

Williams added: "It can be rough and tough but it's a wonderful game to be involved in. Dubai is our first round but we've played there before and it's going to be great. They're hot conditions, a bit like back home in Australia."

At the first round of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series the Australians face Canada, Brazil and France in Pool C and Williams is bullish about the team's chances.

"We're on the up and looking to do better than last year (lost the third place play-off to Spain) and I'm sure we will."

Click here to view the schedule for the first round of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in Dubai.

The Dubai leg of the series will be streaming from Pitch 1 on wsws.irb.com

WSWS - DUBAI

Round 1
04-05 Dec 2014

Venue: 7he Sevens
City: Dubai
Capacity: 50,000

 
Series Standings
TeamPts
1New ZealandNew Zealand96
2AustraliaAustralia92
3CanadaCanada80
4EnglandEngland60
5RussiaRussia56
more
Photos
  • Rachel Crothers of Australia
  • Dubai Sevens Final - Australia v New Zealand
  • Cup winners Australia