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‘We’ll get them’: Australia’s Teagan Levi discusses fierce SVNS rivalry

By Finn Morton
Australia's Teagan Levi takes on Japan during Day One of SVNS Vancouver. Picture: World Rugby.

For anyone who calls either Australia or New Zealand home, you know how fierce, passionate and hotly contested all sporting rivalries between the neighbouring nations are. It can be rugby, football, cricket and more, but there’s always an extra bit of fire when they play.


In the world of rugby sevens, the rivalry between the two nations is historically unlike any other. New Zealand have won the women’s SVNS Series seven times and Australia have claimed overall title glory on three occasions.

England, Canada and the United States have made their mark with second-place finishes one time each, and France also claimed a runners-up finish in 2021/22 but that was during COVID when New Zealand joined the season late.

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But, as the record books show, New Zealand and Australia have a habit of taking up the top two spots on the women’s circuit. While the SVNS Series looks a fair bit different this season with a Grand Final in Madrid, there’s every chance those two teams will challenge once again.

Captain Charlotte Caslick told World Rugby earlier this week that the Australians are hoping to “cross with New Zealand in the final.” The Black Ferns Sevens won the League title in Singapore by beating Australia in the final so it’d be good to get one back.


After scoring a double in Australia’s 33-14 win over Ireland on Friday at Madri’s Civitas Metropolitano, Teagan Levi spoke about the importance of this event before the Paris Olympics and the rivalry with the Black Ferns Sevens.

The Aussies would welcome the chance to take on the Kiwis again.

“We want to go out there and win all the games but we definitely want to win this one and get a roll on leading into the Olympics,” Levi told RugbyPass.


“We’ll take it game by game and see how we go and hopefully we can have a good leadup into the Olympics.

“There’s always a rivalry between us and New Zealand and they only are just getting the edge off us so if we do our job and do what’s best for us,” she continued.

“Hopefully, we’ll get them in the Grand Final, if not, some other team will nick them out first.”


Australia finished second on the SVNS Series standings at the end of the regular season, but with the Madrid leg being a winner-takes-all tournament to determine the overall champion, there’s still everything to play for.


Captain Caslick didn’t join the Aussies when they visited Singapore earlier in May, but after being named to return in Spain’s capital, the Olympic gold medallist led by example with some destructive hits in defence.

The rest of the Australian squad looked quite solid as well, with Tim Walsh’s team powering through to get the job done with a commanding win over SVNS Perth winners Ireland. Teagan Levi scored a double, and so did older sister Maddison.

“We wanted to start that strong… unfortunately we let them in with two tries but to come out in the end 33-14, that was pretty good,” Teagan Levi said.

“It means that we showed courage and we went out there and did our jobs towards the end when it means the most.”

But what’s more impressive is how the younger members of the squad have stepped up this season. Whether it was in Singapore without Caslick, or now with vice-captain Madison Ashby suffering a season-ending knee injury in May, others have stepped up.

The Levi sisters have been phenomenal this season, Faith Nathan has been scoring tries for fun, the duo of Tia Hinds and Isabella Nasser are both enjoying career-best seasons, and Ruby Nicholas has been reliable off the bench.

When you also take into account that team leader Demi Hayes went down with a knee injury in Cape Town last December, it really is incredible how the rest of the squad has stood tall leading into the Olympics.

“We always say if one person’s not there to do the job, someone will step in and do the job for them.

“She’s a big miss out there but the sisterhood is really strong and we’re getting around the girls that are injured at home.

“The people that are having to step up into the next job are doing a great job of it. We’re all working as a team doing our individual goals.”

Catch all of the SVNS Madrid action live and free on RugbyPass TV. To watch the Grand Final, register HERE.


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