Hosts Australia look to home advantage, as they seek to upstage neighbours and current leaders New Zealand at the Sydney Sevens from 1-2 Feb.
Sydney follows a spectacular tournament in Hamilton, New Zealand, last weekend where the hosts were victorious in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Australia, the Olympic gold medallists currently sit second in the overall women’s standings with the Black Ferns Sevens leading the way after winning the last three rounds in Dubai, Cape Town and Hamilton.
“Playing on home soil is the best feeling ever, I keep saying it but it’s kind of indescribable – it just gives you that one per cent extra,” said Australia captain Sharni Williams.
“I was so proud that we got to play in New Zealand but also for them (the Black Ferns Sevens) to experience their first home tournament and to understand how amazing it is.”
Australia’s men and women both lifted the trophy at the Sydney Sevens in 2018, which Williams admits is a motivator heading into this weekend.
“When we lifted the trophy alongside the men it was an experience and a memory that you hold onto. It creates you into a person that you didn’t think you could be and you go out there and you perform every single day a little bit more knowing that you’ve been able to lift that trophy in your hometown.”
Their male counterparts won their first medal of the season in Hamilton after defeating England 33-21 in the bronze final at FMG Stadium.
“Last weekend’s performance was really pleasing – it was our best result of the year so far and the things that we worked on, particularly our defence, really shone through,” said captain Nick Malouf.
“What’s exciting is that we came away with third place, but we know we’ve got lots more better performances in us if we tidy up those results against Fiji and New Zealand.”
Malouf is relishing the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd and at the Bankwest Stadium for the first time.
“This stadium is unbelievable, if you look around the supporters are right on top of you and that’s going to create an amazing atmosphere, and when we’ve got our friends and family in the crowd too, it’s going to be really good.”
Rugby Australia and World Rugby will, together in partnership, support the ongoing bushfire situation in Australia this weekend by donating $1,000 for every try scored by Australia’s men and women to the bushfire relief fund.
The Sydney Sevens is the fifth tournament in the women’s series and the fourth in the men’s this season. The series culminates in Paris on 30-31 May before 24 men’s and women’s teams will travel to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.