Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Madison Ashby re-signs as Australia name squads for SVNS Vancouver

By Finn Morton
Madison Ashby of Australia runs in for a try during the 2024 Perth SVNS /women's match between Australia and Canada at HBF Park on January 27, 2024 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

In a major boost to the Australian sevens program moving forward, young gun Madison Ashby has re-signed and will remain with the team until the end of 2026.

ADVERTISEMENT

10 years ago in April, Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that the then-13-year-old Ashby was hoping to play sevens at the 2016 Olympic Games. Ashby didn’t go to Rio, but it just goes to show that she’s long been destined for greatness at international level.

Ashby debuted for the national team as a teenager in 2019. The Australian has gone on to play 117 matches  and was also included in the squad for the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

The now-23-year-old played a pivotal role in Australia’s Triple-Crown in the 2021-22 season as they were successful in their quest for World Series glory, they won gold at the Commonwealth Games and were crowned world champions at the Rugby Sevens World Cup.

But Ashby will have an opportunity to add more accolades and achievements to her already impressive sevens career after re-signing with the program for another couple of years.

“It was a no-brainer for me to stay with the team and we’ve got such a young group,” Ashby said in a statement.

“I look at sevens as the pinnacle of women’s sport at the moment. Only the fittest of the fittest can play this sport and I’m only 23, so with another two years under my belt playing with the best of the best it’s only going to improve my skills and ability.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Sevens is where my heart lies at the moment and I want to stay loyal to them and I want to be there with them.”

After a strong start to the season, it was absolutely no surprise to see Ashby included in the Australian women’s squad for SVNS Vancouver later this month.

Related

Ashby was back to her playmaking best in Perth, with the Aussie wreaking havoc on the back of her quick feet, fast thinking and brilliant rugby IQ.

But the team didn’t end up winning their home event, and they’ll be eager to bounce back when they take the field at BC Place Stadium from February 23 to 25.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s easy to forget Madi only just turned 23 when you look at her list of achievements already in the game,” coach Tim Walsh added.

“Like a lot of the women in this squad, she’s got a massive future ahead of her and her work ethic will ensure she reaches her potential.

“As a team, we’re looking forward to getting over to Vancouver. We’ve had a good fortnight of preparation in Sydney and will be looking to build on some learnings from the Perth tournament as we continue to grow throughout the season.”

The Australian women’s side were beaten by underdogs Ireland at SVNS Perth in late January, and in literally the next match the Aussie men’s side were dealt the same fate.

With Maurice Longbottom leading the way, the Aussies were out for revenge after losing to Argentina in the Cape Town final – their same opponents in the Perth decider.

But Los Pumas Sevens were far too good. The Aussie men have claimed the runners-up medal in back-to-back tournaments, so they’ll be desperate to go one better in Canada.

While Longbottom isn’t available due to a minor calf complaint, 2023 Australian Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, Henry Paterson, is back in the mix. Michael Icely has also been named to return.

The SVNS Series heads to North America later this month with stops in Vancouver and LA. After the stop in Canada, SVNS LA is from March 1 to 3 and tickets can be bought HERE.

Australia women’s sevens side for SVNS Vancouver

  1. Sharni Smale, 3. Faith Nathan. 4. Dominique Du Toit, 5. Teagan Levi, 6. Madison Ashby, 7. Charlotte Caslick (c), 8. Kaitlin Shave, 9. Tia Hinds, 10. Bella Nasser, 12. Maddison Levi, 13. Heidi Dennis, 55. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, 65. Sariah Paki

Australia men’s sevens side for SVNS Vancouver

  1. Henry Hutchison, 2. Ben Dowling, 3. Henry Palmer, 4. Dietrich Roache, 5. Tim Clements, 6. Henry Paterson, 7. Josh Turner, 9. Matt Gonzalez, 10. Nick Malouf (c), 12. Nathan Lawson, 14. James Turner, 25. Hayden Sargeant, 87. Michael Icely
ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton

ABBIE WARD: A BUMP IN THE ROAD

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Steelers | Full Match Replay

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

P
Poorfour 10 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

18 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Charlie Cale may be the answer to Joe Schmidt's back-row prayers Charlie Cale may be the answer to Joe Schmidt's back-row prayers
Search