A new addition to the program for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
GOLDOC and Australian Rugby Union confirmed the inclusion of women’s Rugby Sevens on Tuesday.
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said this is terrific news for everyone connected to women’s Rugby in Australia.
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“Since the last Commonwealth Games program in Glasgow was announced, women’s Rugby Sevens has gone from strength-to-strength, with the IRB introducing the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series for the 2012/13 season.
“Our men’s team have been wonderful ambassadors for Rugby Sevens since the sport’s introduction to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
“As members of any Commonwealth Games squad – past and present – will testify, the atmosphere surrounding the Games is truly unique and we believe this news will truly leave a lasting legacy for women’s Rugby in Australia,” Mr Pulver said.
Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Hon. Jann Stuckey said the inclusion of women’s competition of Rugby Sevens in the 2018 tournament would add another level of excitement to the sports program.
“Women’s Sevens is just as fast and competitive as the men’s competition and I have no doubt it will attract great attention and provide the crowds with truly world class sporting action at Robina Stadium in April 2018,” Minister Stuckey said.
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters said they were delighted women’s Rugby Sevens would be a part of the GC2018 sports program.
“Rugby Sevens was a huge hit in Glasgow 2014 this year with sell-out crowds of more than 171,000 enjoying an electric atmosphere and exhilarating on field action.”
The confirmation comes at an exciting time for Rugby Sevens in Australia. 15,864 more people participated in Rugby Sevens in 2013 compared to 2012, an increase of 40.7%, bringing the total number of participants in Rugby Sevens nationally to a record 54,687.
Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens star Charlotte Caslick, from Corinda in Brisbane’s southwest suburbs said, “I must admit I was a bit jealous seeing our Men’s team going over to take part at the Games in Glasgow earlier this year.
“The atmosphere surrounding the Commonwealth Games looked absolutely incredible on the TV and something I hope to be a part of in 2018.
“The fact the Games are being held in my home state is a wonderful bonus … a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a wider Australian team on home soil,” Caslick said.
Since Men’s Rugby Sevens was included in the Commonwealth Games program 16 years ago, Australia has secured one silver medal (Delhi 2010) and two bronze medals (Kuala Lumpur 1998, Glasgow 2014).
At the XXI Commonwealth Games, men’s and women’s Rugby Sevens will be played at Robina Stadium. With no Women’s IRB Sevens World Series event currently staged in the Oceania region, it will be a unique opportunity to see the explosive Australian team in competitive action live on home soil.
Meanwhile, the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team is set to play on home soil this weekend (11-12 October) at Robina Stadium in a three-match exhibition tournament against a strong Canadian side as part of the Gold Coast Sevens.
The Australian team will boast current IRB Women’s Sevens Player of the Year Emilee Cherry as well as fellow Queenslanders Shannon Parry, Charlotte Caslick and Rachel Crothers, providing national Women’s Head Coach Tim Walsh with crucial preparation before kicking off their own IRB World Series campaign in Dubai in December.