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‘Makes perfect sense’: SVNS champions Australia propose move to Brisbane

By Finn Morton
Players of Australia women team celebrates the victory of the final match against France during HSBC Madrid Rugby Sevens at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on Jun 02, 2024 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Alberto Gardin/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

SVNS Series champions Australia will permanently relocate to Brisbane if the Government approves funding for a sevens High-Performance Centre, as confirmed by Rugby Australia Chairman Dan Herbert on Wednesday.

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With captain Charlotte Caslick leading the way, the Aussies overcame a series of tough matchups at the winner-takes-all SVNS Series Grand Final in Madrid earlier this month which included a tense semi-final win over New Zealand.

Taking out the first-ever Grand Final title is the perfect preparation for the Australian women’s side before the rapidly approaching Paris Olympics. The women in gold will take on the world’s best in front of thousands at Stade de France next month.

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While the Paris Games is obviously a massive focus at the moment, Rugby Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to the future of the sevens program and women’s rugby with a landmark announcement in Brisbane.

RA are intent on relocating the women’s sevens side to the ‘Sunshine State’ of Queensland if the Government backs a new High-Performance Centre or grandstand on the eastern side of the iconic rugby union venue.

“We are extremely proud of our Aussie Sevens women who have in recent years won a World Cup, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, the World Series and, just this month, the Madrid Grand Final of the latest (SVNS Series) season,” Rugby Australia Chairman, Dan Herbert, said in a statement.

“It makes perfect sense to have our elite women’s sevens program based at the same venue as our 15-a-side Wallaroos program because our strategy is to have them more closely integrated.

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“You just have to see what is ahead with our hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup for women and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics where rugby sevens will play to sellout crowds.

“There is also the ability to inspire boys and girls on their own Olympic journey because the 13 and 14-year-olds of today will be the potential Olympians of Brisbane 2032.

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“What Charlotte Caslick and the current squad do at the Paris Olympics in just a few weeks will stir that excitement even more.

“We know rugby sevens is booming for women and girls. In 2023, there was a 26 per cent growth in sevens participation. The growth at 15s level was at 16 per cent. RA has committed a further $3 million to the women’s game in 2024.

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“We know Ballymore is the right home for women’s sevens.

“Today, I’m happy to announce RA’s commitment to move the Australian women’s rugby sevens program to Ballymore full-time pending funding approval for the construction of a women’s sevens High-Performance facility.”

Coach Tim Walsh highlighted the benefit of having three fields available to the team at the Ballymore complex, as well as other factors including the increased sunshine months.

The new-look Ballymore has already hosted a plethora of professional sporting teams which just goes to show that it has already become “an essential hub for women’s rectangular sport” in Queensland.

“More than 90,000 people have attended the BMS National Rugby Training Centre since it opened 12 months ago,” Queensland Rugby Union Chief Executive, David Hanham, explained.

“Men and women, boys and girls, have come to train and play rugby sevens and 15s, women’s A-League football and Flag Football. The precinct hosted three NRL clubs for training before Magic Round and rugby’s grassroots club grand finals.

“Delivering the NRTC redevelopment on time and on budget for $31.5 million is proof the new Ballymore is as billed… multi-purpose and an essential hub for women’s rectangular sport in Queensland.

“It had support from both sides of Government and we continued to work with Government on our vision for the future which is a High-Performance Centre for women’s sevens within a grandstand for the venue’s Olympic future.”

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Tom 10 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, our line speed is faster without the ball than with it. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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