How Sevens star Caslick fell back in love with rugby
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How Sevens star Caslick fell back in love with rugby

Australian Sevens star Charlotte Caslick says a journey to Laos as part of a new rugby program has rejuvenated her love for the game.

Caslick has been one of the faces of the Sevens program since their breakthrough gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games but admitted to being flat after the recent World Cup, where Australia took the bronze.

Grassroots: Charlotte Caslick playing rugby with children in Laos with Pass It Back.

Grassroots: Charlotte Caslick playing rugby with children in Laos with Pass It Back.

She has just returned from Laos, where she was part of the Pass it Back program, which aims to deliver integrated life skills as well as foster a love of rugby.

The ChildFund Pass it Back program is being expanded through a partnership with World Rugby for the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.

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"It was amazing. It was just what I needed at the right time as well," Caslick said. "The whole program over there is incredible. It’s more than rugby, a lot of life skills. It was amazing for those kids.

"For me, we had a disappointing World Cup and I was a little bit down on my rugby. But to see the fun those kids were having over there was a good reality check for me, it reminded me why I play rugby. They were so happy to be doing something I might take for granted. It did a lot for me."

'Amazing': Caslick hailed the program's effect on local kids.

'Amazing': Caslick hailed the program's effect on local kids.

Caslick had been linked to a move to rugby league with the new Brisbane Broncos side in the WNRL. But she said it was an easy decision to stay in rugby Sevens and her work in Laos only vindicated her decision.

"It was more a disappointment with how we were performing and how I was performing. Change can be great when you are in a lull. There is so much I want to give back to rugby and so much I want to achieve.

"Our competition is so strong and the girls are incredible athletes. Rugby league would be a great challenge but there is so much more I want to do with these girls."

Former Wallaby captain John Eales is also supporting the partnership, which will see the program expanded in Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines as well as other developing countries in the region.

For more information see childfundpassitback.org.