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Richie Walker has selected his side for Sydney 7s, making three changes from the second-place squad from Dubai. Out are Kelsi Stockert, Sara Parsons and Megan Foster. Replacing them are Hope Rogers, Natalie Kosko and Cheta Emba.
"Our focus for camp was to pick the best squad we could for Australia and really get better as a team once that squad got selected," said head coach Richie Walker.
"We came out of Dubai finishing second which was a great achievement for us as Dubai hasn't been one of our best stops in the past. We have a lot of work to do and our mission for Australia is to better perform as a team and to be more consistent. The momentum from Dubai definitely helps us do that."
The Eagles started poorly in Dubai, with losses to France and New Zealand sandwiching a win over South Africa. But they snuck into the quarterfinals where they avenged the loss against the Black Ferns, 14-12. They downed Russia in the semifinals before falling to Olympic champion Australia in the final.
The rubber match against New Zealand will come in pool play in Sydney, as the Eagles are paired with the Kiwis, England and Japan in Pool B.
"Every pool is tough these days and for us it is one game at a time,” said Walker. “England is going to be strong and really coming back into form with some players returning. Japan is a well-drilled and disciplined team and New Zealand we have seen a lot of over the last year as they are always ready and the current World Series champions."
For the women, Sydney kicks off Thursday Jan. 25 at 6:44 p.m. ET against England. Then it’s Japan at 9:28 p.m. ET. The New Zealand rematch is set for 12:12 a.m. ET the following day. The entire tournament is available on The Rugby Channel.
Women's Eagles Sevens Staff | Sydney 7s Tournament
Richie Walker, Head Coach
Sarah Leslie, Athletic Trainer
Jon Hood, Head of Physical Preparation
Dave Gardner, Analyst
Liz Strohecker, Team Manager
Women's Eagles Sevens Schedule | Pool B | Sydney 7s Tournament
vs. England | Thu, Jan. 25 - 6:44 PM ET
vs. Japan | Thu, Jan. 25 - 9:28 PM ET
vs. New Zealand | Fri, Jan. 26 - 12:12 AM ET