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Australia search for fairytale Paris Olympics ending after Tokyo heartbreak

The Australian Women's Rugby Sevens team pose with their boarding passes to Paris during the Australian 2024 Paris Olympic Games Rugby Squad Announcement at Hubert Restaurant on July 03, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Australian sevens rugby women’s team is searching for a fairytale ending at the Olympic Games in Paris after suffering heartbreak in Tokyo three years ago.


And the Australians are prepared to do it the hard way, even if it means  taking on arch-rivals New Zealand in the final.

Everyone seems to be humming with excitement, captain Charlotte Caslick said at the team announcement on Wednesday, with the trans-Tasman rivals joint favourites to take gold in Paris.

“We’ve obviously been neck and neck with New Zealand at the top for the whole time and I think we’re pretty comfortable there,” said Caslick.

Australia’s stars struck gold for the first time at the Rio Games in 2016, beating the Kiwis in a nail-biting final.

But there was despair in 2021 when they finished out of the medals in fifth place.

Australia were eliminated by Fiji in the quarter-finals, with NZ seizing the opportunity to claim gold.

But Caslick maintains preparations have gone much smoother this time around after their campaign was hampered by COVID then.


“I feel like we’re in a much better place than we were physically before Tokyo,” she said.

“We’ve beaten them (NZ) before so we know how to play them, and we know how to beat them. I think we just have to be brave and go out there and throw everything at them.

“At this stage, we probably won’t cross with them until a grand final, so if everything goes to plan for both of us, I’m hoping that we will meet.”


Star player Maddison Levi said nobody wanted a repeat of the Tokyo heartbreak and feels they have the team to get the job done.

“If we stay in our bubble as a group and don’t let anyone inside that, I think we’ll do a really good thing over there in Paris,” she said.


“We’re all ready to go out there and kind of rewrite that Olympic history and hopefully come home with a gold medal.”

Squad: Charlotte Caslick (capt), Bridget Clark, Dominique du Toit, Tia Hinds, Maddison Levi, Isabella Nasser, Faith Nathan, Sariah Paki, Kaitlin Shave, Sharni Smale, Bienne Terita. (Reserves: Kahli Henwood, Sidney Taylor).

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