RUGBY SEVENS: Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh is set to hand World Rugby Sevens World Series debuts to two players after naming an extended 13-strong party for the season opener in Dubai next week.
Forward Tanisha Stanton and utility Chloe Dalton will win their first World Series caps if named in Walsh's final squad after impressing team management throughout pre-season.
The pair have been named alongside skipper Sharni Williams, current World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year Emilee Cherry and electric winger Ellia Green.
Brooke Anderson (shoulder), Nicole Beck (shoulder) and Nikki Etheridge (knee) are unavailable through injury.
Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "I have picked a hungry, exciting and young side that has just spent its first full pre-season together after the Sevens program was centralised earlier this year.
"I have been delighted with the progress that Tanisha [Stanton] and Chloe [Dalton] have made since switching from netball and basketball respectively. They have added genuine depth to our playing group. Both are raw talents, but they are reaping the rewards of the hard work they have put in during training.
"With so many countries centralising their Women's Sevens program, this is undoubtedly going to be our toughest season to date. We did well to finish second last season, but of course our objective is to go one better this year."
After Dubai, the 2014/15 World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series heads to Brazil in February. Stops in the USA in March and Canada in April follow before the season ends in Europe with trips to Amsterdam and London in May.
Like the Men's Sevens World Series, a top four finish at the end of the 2014-15 World Rugby Sevens World Series season will secure automatic qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Fans can watch all of the action live via www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series/ and FOX SPORTS 2 (Finals Day).
Australian Women’s Sevens fixtures for Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 4-6 December:
Australia v South Africa, Pool B, 6.00pm (AEDT), 4 December
Australia v France, Pool B, 8.56pm (AEDT), 4 December
Australia v Spain, Pool B, 12.14am (AEDT), 5 December
Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (one to be omitted):
Charlotte Caslick. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
Emilee Cherry. Place of Birth: Roma, QLD. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
Chloe Dalton. Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW
Gemma Etheridge. Place of Birth: Tamworth, NSW. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
Ellia Green. Place of Birth: Suva, Fiji. Hometown: Melbourne, VIC
Shannon Parry. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
Evania Pelite. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
Tiana Penitani. Place of Birth: Canberra, ACT. Hometown: Maroubra, NSW
Alicia Quirk. Place of Birth: Wagga Wagga, NSW
Tanisha Stanton. Place of Birth: Dubbo, NSW. Hometown: Newcastle, NSW
Emma Tonegato. Place of Birth: Wollongong, NSW
Amy Turner. Place of Birth: Tokoroa, New Zealand. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD
Sharni Williams. Place of Birth: Batlow, NSW