Rugby Union

Australian women's sevens coach Tim Walsh puts case for more world tournaments

While the Sydney Sevens is predominantly focused on men's fixtures, Australian women's coach Tim Walsh says he hopes to eventually see a three-day world series tournament showcasing the best of both genders on Australian soil.

The Australian women's sevens side feature in just five world series tournaments compared with 10 for the men, but are performing far better.

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After winning the Dubai leg in December, Australia's women are the top side in the world and are a genuine gold medal chance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

They will feature in three matches – one on Saturday and two on Sunday – against the Ireland women's team, who finished last at the recent competition in Dubai.

Pushing for more tournaments for women: Australian sevens coach Tim Walsh.
Pushing for more tournaments for women: Australian sevens coach Tim Walsh. Photo: Phil Hearne

While Walsh understands the focus should be on the men's team this weekend, he would love to see an even bigger festival of free-flowing sevens rugby on display. 

"Absolutely, I think we're always pushing towards that," Walsh said. "The world series should be a joint men's and women's [event], even if it's in an Olympic format over three days as opposed to two days. It would help with broadcasting. Hopefully in the future that's what will happen. Time will tell, but the success of the Sydney sevens might help that."

Adamant his squad would not be taking the Irish lightly, Walsh said building towards an Olympic Games, in which the sport is being held for the first time, was the prime focus in every game given he believes anything less than a gold medal would not suffice.

"We'd be naive to say that gold isn't the ultimate goal and that's what we're peaking towards," Walsh said. "We're about game-by-game and we're about winning the world series as well as the Olympics, but no one's been to the Olympics before – any of the countries – so it's going to be such an unfamiliar event for us. Whoever gets the preparation, whoever can handle the pressure right will be the ones who come away with a win. If you take the last three season's results, you'd have to think that we're a good chance. We're certainly on that road. This world series is going to be massive for all the teams in terms of building some momentum and peaking at the right time."