The Commonwealth Games begin next week, climaxing with the Games first women’s sevens tournament.
Rugby Sevens first appeared in the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and its success lead directly to the inclusion of sevens in other multi-sport Games, including the Olympics from 2016.
But, unlike other Games, a women’s tournament was not included as the original purpose for adopting sevens into the Commonwealth Games was to provide a men’s sport to balance the women’s sport of netball. However, the success of the Australian women’s team resulted in pressure to include a women’s event at this, Australia’s home Commonwealth Games – and future Games.
Whereas sevens opened the Olympics, for the Commonwealth Games it will be one of the last sports to start. The first two rounds of the women’s tournament take place on the evening of the 13th April, the final group games take place on the 14th.
The third placed teams in each pool will play-off for fifth and the fourth placed teams for seventh place on the morning of the 15th, after which there will be semi-finals, and bronze and gold medal matches.
Despite taking place in the middle of the World Series, this is clearly a tournament that none of the participants are treating as a distraction. The five World Series teams have selected their strongest teams as Australia in particular aiming to end coach Tim Walsh’s reign with gold.
Pool A, with three World Series teams (Australia, England and Fiji) competing for two semi-final spots appears the toughest of the two – though there are no weak teams in this event. South Africa have proven their ability to beat the best in the world, and Kenya too have recent World Series experience. Only Wales have not previously competed at this level.
13th April: 16.30-20.30 (Local time - BST+9)
Canada vs. South Africa; New Zealand vs. Kenya; Fiji vs. England; Australia vs. Wales; Canada vs. Kenya; New Zealand vs. South Africa; Fiji vs. Wales; Australia vs. England
14th April: 15.27-16.11
South Africa vs. Kenya; New Zealand vs. Canada
14th April: 20.05-20.49
England vs. Wales; Australia vs. Fiji
15th April: 09.30-15.38
Classification matches, semi-finals and finals.
Shannon Parry; Sharni Williams; Georgie Friedrichs; Emma Tonegato; Dom Du Toit; Vani Pelite; Charlotte Caslick; Cassie Staples; Alicia Quirk; Emilee Cherry; Ellia Green; Demi Hayes; Emma Sykes
Claire Allan; Abigail Brown; Lydia Thompson; Emily Scarratt; Natasha Hunt; Deborah Fleming; Heather Fisher; Emily Scott; Alex Matthews; Megan Jones; Jessica Breach; Amy Wilson-Hardy; Victoria Fleetwood
Rusila Nagasau; Miriama Naiobasali; Litia Naiqato; Timaima Ravisa; Viniana Riwai; Ana Roqica; Lavena Cavuru; Ana Naimasi; Pricilla Siata; Vasiti Solikoviti; Lavenia Tinai; Mereula Torooti; Elenoa Naimata
Jasmine Joyce; Sinead Breeze; Kayleigh Powell; Elinor Snowsill; Laurie Harries; Philippa Tuttiett; Alisha Butchers; Hannah Jones; Gemma Rowland; Sian Williams; Sioned Harries; Shona Powell-Hughes; Bethan Lewis
Olivia Apps, Brittany Benn, Caroline Crossley, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Julia Greenshields, Sara Kaljuvee, Ghisliane Landry, Megan Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Natasha Watcham-Roy, Charity Williams
Linet Arasa; Sheilla Chajira; Janet Owino; Stacy Otieno; Rachael Mbogo; Grace Okulu; Cynthia Atieno; Doreen Remour; Michelle Omondi; Janet Okelo; Judith Okumu; Celestine Masinde; Philadelphia Olando
Ruby Tui; Shakira Baker; Stacey Waaka; Niall Williams; Sarah Goss; Michaela Blyde; Tyla Nathan-Wong; Kelly Brazier; Gayle Broughton; Theresa Fitzpatrick; Portia Woodman; Kat Simpkins; Tenika Willison
Zinhle Ndawonde; Christelene Steinhoebel; Chane Stadler; Zintle Mpupha; Zenay Jordaan; Veroeshka Grain; Eloise Webb; Megan Comley; Nadine Roos; Mathrin Simmers; Unathi Mali; Marithy Pienaar; Aseza Hele