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‘It’s pretty special’: The superstar Levi sisters taking the SVNS world by storm

By Finn Morton
Maddison Levi (L) and Teagan Levi pose for a photo during a Rugby Australia media opportunity at Rugby Australia HQ on November 22, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

When the full-time whistle sounded at Dubai’s The Sevens Stadium last weekend, two superstar sisters from the Gold Coast took their place in history after a sublime weekend in the desert.

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Teagan and Maddison Levi both stole the show during the opening leg of the new-look SVNS Series in their own ways, and it’s an incredibly exciting development for the Australia sevens program.

Maddison was on the field when the ball was kicked out of play on a humid Sunday night in the UAE. The try-scoring phenom hugged teammates as young sister Teagan ran on from the sidelines.

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As both Levi’s continued to celebrate Australia’s first cup final triumph since the Dubai SVNS last season, they eventually found their way to one another – and it was a special moment that followed.

Up on the big screen at the Dubai rugby venue, broadcast cameras caught a smiling Teagan Levi turning around and throwing her arms around her older sister to share an iconic embrace.

The two sisters from the Gold Coast – who recently penned a contract extension with Rugby Australia beyond the Paris Olympics in 2024 – had elevated their games to an all-new level.

Maddison, who was nominated for World Rugby’s Player of the Year after a record-breaking 2022/23 season with 57 tries, scored a staggering 11 tries across just six games in Dubai last weekend.

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As for Teagan, the 20-year-old took the sevens by storm in the cup final and was rewarded with Player of the Final honours. Two tries against the Black Ferns Sevens is no fluke.

“It’s pretty special to have her on the field, especially right next to me. If I’m not setting them up for her, she’s setting them up for me,” Teagan Levi told RugbyPass after winning the Dubai SVNS.

“She’s an incredible athlete and she’s on the rise. I’m excited to see where her future is going.

“I’m so lucky to have her as a guide to look up to. When we were younger she always said that I was the person to look up to but now it’s vice versa and I’m looking up to her to be like her.

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“This weekend she’s proved that she’s ready to top the next record or she’s ready to step up when we need her. In all the games she’s really worked hard and shown that she is an incredible athlete.”

Tegan Levi has come a long way in a short space of time with this Aussie squad. After making some cameos off the bench at the Sydney Sevens in January, Levi is now a frontline starter.

The woman known affectionally within the sevens side as ‘Pitbull’ takes pride in her physicality on both sides of the ball, and rugby fans saw that in spades during a breakout weekend in Dubai.

Levi was scrumming, goal-kicking, taking the kick-offs and leading the way as a playmaker within a world-class Aussie side. The youngster looked like a fetching backrower at times too with Levi constantly putting her body on the line.

“I’m pretty excited, especially about getting Player of the Final. I think it shows that hard work really does pay off and not just me but the whole team, we’ve worked really hard this whole preseason,” Levi said.

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“To come out here and get the win is awesome and such a surreal feeling.

“Individually it’s really exciting to see what this year holds for me. I think I’ve worked really hard in preseason but once again I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my coaching staff and the team around me.

“We have some of the best talented athletes in the world in our team and some of the most amazing staff and I think they’ve really put us to the test this preseason.”

After winning the World Sevens Series, the Rugby Sevens World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold during a golden year in 2022, the Aussies took a backwards step last season.

Australia beat New Zealand in the Dubai SVNS final but the Black Ferns Sevens bounced back as they embarked on a 41-game unbeaten run that saw them take out the overall series title.

But after a gruelling preseason – which included trips to Ireland and Fiji – the Aussies have reaped the rewards of their hard work by claiming a famous win over their Trans-Tasman rivals.

“They’re always tough competition but to get the first win over them is awesome,” she said.

“It was a real gutsy team effort… the whole 14 minutes, everyone did their job and role.

“They always put up a big fight and it’s always us against each other – the biggest rivalry. It’s really exciting to start really well against them but they’re gonna come firing next weekend.

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“We’re gonna put our best foot forward this week to get ready for Cape Town and hopefully get the win there as well.”

But as is the nature of the SVNS Series, the focus has quickly shifted from Dubai to Cape Town ahead of the season’s second leg this weekend.

Australia have been drawn in a pool along with Japan and Spain, as well as Fiji – the same side who ended their quest for Olympic gold in the quarterfinals two years ago in Tokyo.

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