RUGBY SEVENS: The Australian Women's Sevens have received a huge boost ahead of the final leg of the World Series later this month with inspirational skipper Sharni Williams returning to training.
Williams injured her knee in the opening round of the World Series in Dubai in early December, undergoing surgery just before Christmas in a bid to be at full fitness for the Rio Olympics in August.
There have been some long days at rehab but Williams is thrilled to be back with the full squad.
"It's awesome to be back," she said.
"It's been a long time coming, the girls have been preparing very well.
"Coming off the back of a bit of time off after the Atlanta and Canada legs and then being smashed here in our little pre-season, it's definitely a big wake up call for me to go out there and prepare a bit more," she said.
While Williams will be a welcome addition the squad, the Women's Sevens team have managed to succeed without her, having won three of four tournaments, since Williams went down on the first day in Dubai.
Injuries have been something Williams has been managed to avoid for the majority of her career, having played in every World Series tournament since its inception in 2012.
"It was tough," she said.
"You have your hiccups, your ups and downs, being in rehab has definitely taught me a lot of things, like being mentally tough, but it's made me a better person.
"It's made me bigger and stronger so all those little hiccups that come my way are definitely something I'm challenged at."
Williams said her return in a brutal session was made easier by her teammates.
"The girls were awesome at helping me get through it and that's what we're about as a team, is helping each other being family," she said.
"We've won a couple of tournaments here and we're on top of the World Series at the moment but we can't get complacent, so we've got to keep improving."
The Women's Sevens are putting the final touches on their preparation for the final World Series leg in France later this month where they will look to claim their maiden World Series title, but it's the excitement of the Olympics later this year that's really pushing them.
"I get goosebumps every time I talk about it," Williams said.
"You've got to get mentally prepared for that and the countdown is on, everyone is counting it down but we're here on the grind and that's what we’re about."
Australian Rugby Union