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Aussie Maddison Levi aiming for SVNS greatness after record-breaking season

By Finn Morton
Maddison Levi of Australia runs with the ball to score a try against Brazil during the HSBC SVNS rugby tournament on December 2, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Martin Dokoupil/Getty Images)

In the wake of a history-making season with a world-class Australian side, Maddison Levi has set her sights on cementing her place as “one of the great wingers” in the world of rugby SVNS.

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Levi, 21, set a new record for the most tries scored in a single women’s series season with 57 across seven events. The next best was New Zealand wing Michaela Blyde with 43.

The Australian was rewarded for a headline-grabbing breakout season on the sevens circuit with a nomination for World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year award.

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But Levi isn’t satisfied. After re-signing with Rugby Australia and the sevens program along with sister Teagan, the try-scoring phenom is looking to continue her rise in 2023/24.

Levi has already sent the Dubai rugby crowd into a frenzy with a try-scoring blitz on the opening day, which included a hat-trick in the 66-nil demolition of Japan on a sweltering afternoon.

“I guess it’s always in the back of my mind (to score as many tries as possible) but my priority at the moment is to just take each game as it comes, just get the wins,” Levi told RugbyPass on Saturday.

“My job is made easy because the girls out on the field next to me make it easy so when they work hard it really helps me open up space.

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“I’ve had two really good years on the (series).

“Coming into this one I didn’t really want to drop, I just wanted to keep working and keep building as one of the great wingers.

“We work on the basics in the preseason. I’ve been really working on my speed and my power so just trying to step up to the next level so I can help my team and vice versa they help me.”

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After a golden year in 2022 which saw the Aussies win Commonwealth Games gold, claim the Rugby Sevens World Cup and the World Series crown, New Zealand took control last season.

The Black Ferns Sevens won every World Series event in 2022/23 except for one, with Australia claiming the Cup final at this very stadium – Dubai’s The Sevens Stadium – last season.

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But the Aussies appear hungry. Whether it’s speaking with Maddison or a handful of other Aussie sevens stars, they all seem determined to return to the top of the SVNS world.

“We’ve had a really long preseason and we’ve just been working tirelessly at focusing on those little details (from) last year that probably let us down,” Levi said.

“It’s good to come out and execute in the first two games.

“We just take each game as it comes. We’re ultimately building towards Paris,” she added.

“We say we’re a process-driven team so the outcomes are great if we win them… but I guess it’s just staying in the process, win or lose.

“We say, ‘You’re either winning or you’re learning’ and I think we took a lot of learnings out of last year so it’s good to come in fresh and show everyone what we’ve been working on.”

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B.J. Spratt 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

You Poms and Paddies are really nice guys. New Zealand V Ireland - 37 Tests - N.Z. 31 Wins - Ireland 5 Wins - 1 draw. New Zealand V England - 45 Tests - N.Z. 35 Wins -England 8 Wins - 2 draws. Combined - You have beaten the All Blacks 13 Times in 82 attempts over 119 years. The Stats over 100 years + would say, especially England with 6 Times the player pool than New Zealand, you have “a limitation of context” regarding developing your coaches to teach your players how to WIN. So how can England with a 6 times the player numbers have a 17% winning strike rate against New Zealand? and be 8 -0 in Test Series over 100 years. The answer is simple. Your perception of the game. How do you fix it? You need to play in New Zealand for a couple of seasons in your teens, 18 -20 or send coaches over here. Martin Johnstone played 2 seasons here under the mentorship of Colin Meads. When he came here he had rugby shorts with pockets and a handkerchief in one pocket. He played for NZ Under 21 against Wallaby John Eales. He became the toughest player in the game and the best ever English Captain and Captained the Lions twice. Legend! Maybe if he hadn’t come to New Zealand, he may still had those rugby shorts with pockets. Recently Rogan O’Gara spent time at the Crusaders. What a great coach. “Our “mindset is different” and that’s how we have beaten you for 100 years + How the hell he isn’t Coaching Ireland, France, England, Wales, or Scotland I will never know? England has 131,000 Senior rugby Players. Ireland has 21,000 Senior Players. New Zealand has 27,000 Senior Players.

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