The Australian captain of the Sevens, Sharni Williams, has a wave of new talents at her ankles and uses them to fuel her dreams of more Olympic gold.
The recruit of the University of Canberra was in Sydney to launch the women’s university sevens series, where a large number of players will compete for three professional contracts that Australian coach Tim Walsh will face.
Williams admits that when the new competition kicks off she would eventually leave the sport in a better place, but she does not intend to give away rugby.
Another appearance at the Olympics is the price at the bottom of the road, and Williams says the next generation competition will only push them toward their destination.
“That’s all part of being a professional athlete, that hunger, drive and challenge,” said Williams.
“When someone challenges me and tells me that I can not do it, it gives me the impulse to prove the opposite, I do it in every aspect of my life.
“As a mechanic [people say], you’re a woman, you do not work on cars, this is a men’s job. [I think], you know what, I’m going out and doing that.” ,
“I think this attitude and the challenge that these young girls are biting my ankles will definitely push me.”
Williams had to regret the lack of an important path after Australia’s Olympic gold medal win, but the university praised 7s as “a big step forward”.
The ARU and eight universities have joined forces to enable the next generation of stars to compete with Olympians and elite athletes in a professional environment.
Williams hopes that it will inspire Australia’s best young talent and show them the dream of becoming an Olympic gold medalist, a legitimate opportunity.
“This tournament could bring forth the next Sharni Williams or Shannon Parry,” Williams said.
“We need a few strikers, and this tournament is something I’m looking forward to seeing the growth and seeing someone who gets up and jumps in my shoes and fills them when I leave.
“The Olympics are upon us, but when this tournament starts, I can hang the boots and make the sport look better.”
Williams will miss the first round of the Wallaroos World Cup competition in Ireland, but she says the Canberra coach David Grimmond’s outfit is lacking in size and will make up for it in the heart.
The 29-year-old says the 15-member Australian representatives will gather in a live stream to see how the future stars are centered.
“ACT are usually outsiders, so I think the team will be pretty small, but that’s what sevens are all about being small and fast,” said Williams.
“You can be as small as you want, but if you have that ticker and that heart, you can definitely go out and beat some people and surprise them.
“They probably dominated them in a duel if they thought they were going to run over you, hopefully I’ll see something of that.”
WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY SEVENS SERIES
Round one: University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston, August 25-26
Round two: Macquarie University, Sydney, September 9-10
Round three: University of Queensland, Brisbane, September 16-17
Round four: Bond University, Gold Coast, September 29-30
AUSTRALIAN PLAYER ALLOCATIONS
University of Canberra: Sharni Williams and Brooke Anderson
University of New England: Alicia Quirk and Hannah Southwell
Macquarie University: Dominique Du Toit and Chloe Dalton
University of Tasmania: Ellia Green, Georgie Friedrichs and Shanice Parker
University of Adelaide: Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite and Mahalia Murphy
Griffith University: Shannon Parry and Demi Hayes
Bond University: Charlotte Caslick and Brooke Walker
University of Queensland: Emilee Cherry and Emma Sykes