Australia’s gold medal-winning women’s sevens team have been awarded the nation's highest honours as part of Australia Day.
The Olympic and World Series champions were awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, capping off a milestone 12 months for the game down under.
Winger Ellia Green, who will make her return from injury at next weekend’s Sydney Sevens, said prior to the announcement, that their ability to make a mark on the next generation of women.
“I always say that what we've done for Australian sport and especially women in sport means more to me than a gold medal,” she said.
“A gold medal's been something we've all been working towards since we were very young but what we've done now will carry on for a long time.”
ARU CEO Bill Pulver, who was one of those who endorsed their credentials for an OAM, said the team’s commitment to that effort set them apart.
“For the Australian Women’s Sevens team to have achieved such success as such a young team is a testament to the hard work and effort they have put into the Sevens program. Sevens demands unique levels of skill, speed, physicality, fitness and mental tenacity, which cannot be achieved without incredible hard work and dedication.
“It would be difficult to find a team that is so devoted to making a difference within the community. The team earnestly wants to inspire a new generation of female rugby players, and all their efforts in training and community work are targeted toward this goal. - BIll Pulver
“I am delighted that their incredible service to rugby and the Australian community has been recognised in this way.”
Wallaroos captain Ash Hewson was also recognised in local awards, named Shoalhaven Council's Sportsperson of the Year as part of Australia Day celebrations.