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‘I want it really bad’: Aussie Kaitlin Shave hungry for more after SVNS debut

By Finn Morton
Kaitlin Shave speaks with RugbyPass after debuting on the SVNS Series for the Australian women's sevens side. Picture: Ian Cameron

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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“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.

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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.”

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Red and White Dynamight 4 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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