‘I want it really bad’: Aussie Kaitlin Shave hungry for more after SVNS debut
Walking down the tunnel at Dubai’s The Sevens Stadium with a gleaming smile on her face, debutant Kaitlin Shave was one of the last players to arrive at Australia’s team huddle on Saturday morning.
At just 22 years of age, the former high school sprint champion had realised a long-lasting dream by running out in the coveted green and gold jersey on the international SVNS stage.
Shave joined her teammates in the post-match debrief at Australia’s dominant 39-nil win over Brazil, and it seemed all business as usual until the end of the review.
With a deafening cheer, the Aussies made sure to celebrate Shave and the endless commitment that she’d shown to make this dream a reality. Captain Charlotte Caslick was the last one to congratulate the rising star before she prepared for an interview with RugbyPass.
With that very same smile still draped across her face, Shave was visibly proud, delighted and even “relieved” after becoming the latest Australian to represent the women’s sevens side.
“I don’t think I can put it into words. I’m so happy, I’m so relieved,” Shave said.
“(For) the girls to get around me like that, it’s just such a special feeling and it’s such a special team and I love all the girls, we have such a great sisterhood so it’s just the best feeling.
“Very nervous having a debut – making sure you don’t want to drop the ball or anything. I just feel like I’m feeling a bit more calm now after that.”
Shave has seemed destined for more for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean the “journey” has been easy or simple. There has been “lots of highs and a lot of low lows” on the road to the top.
Following injuries to vice-captain Demi Hayes and veteran Sharni Williams earlier this year, Shave was picked in the touring squad for the Vancouver sevens – but the Queenslander didn’t play.
Selected as the 13th player in the Aussies’ squad, the speedster was made to wait that little bit longer for international honours.
“I feel like it’s been such a long journey,” Shave added. “This is my dream and I thought I’ve just got to keep pushing, keep trying, give it my all and just see what the result is.
“When I was 13th in Vancouver it was still really special to me. Even being considered to be taken away I was just happy to be there. Even though I didn’t play it was still a great opportunity and experience for me.”
When the Aussies started their preseason quite some time ago, Shave was outside of the main group. They trained and trained without Shave, who was called in later ahead of international tournaments.
Shave clearly did enough to impress coach Tim Walsh and the rest of the selectors. But now that she’s in the mix to star the SVNS season, Shave won’t want to let that go.
While the debutant is still yet to make the permanent move to Sydney, Shave appeared incredibly hungry, desperate and passionate about doing everything possible to stay in the top squad.
“I wasn’t really part of the girls during the start of their pre-season. At the start of the year I was in Japan for a few months and then I came back,” Shave explained.
“When the girls moved from pre-season, just training, to more pre-season comps and tournaments against other teams is when I started joining in.
“After a few trips away I got put into the main squad for a few games and then back into the A-squad. I guess being in the 12, I got the opportunity to play with the main squad, but I still wasn’t sure where I was gonna be.
“Everyone wants to be in the main squad – the team that travels away. I’ve just got to keep working hard, I want it really bad.
“Hopefully it shows in my training and out on the field.”