The women's Aussie Sevens side not only took out the 2016 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Championships, but won three consecutive tournaments in Dubai, San Paolo and Atlanta on their way there.
Finishing second in France almost a fortnight ago to Canada sealed their series victory and their fate as Australian rugby trailblazers. The series win is Australia’s first ever Sevens World Series championships.
— RUGBYcomau (@rugbycomau) May 30, 2016
Despite sending their best squad to assure the World Series - a sixth place was all that was required - Rio has been the ultimate goal for the past four years. Before leaving for France, Ladies Who League interviewed Alicia Quirk - this is the second part Zela has featured.
Win the World Series, tick the box move on to the next one
We’ll get a little bit of time off after Paris, win that tournament bring home that World Series title, then that’s box ticked, so we move on to the next one.
And then it’s just rip in and give everything we can to make sure we’re prepped and ready to bring home that gold for the Olympics.
The team will get picked on the 30th of June so it’ll be all systems ahead up until then, and we have some trial games against Japan 22nd to the 24th, so that’ll kind of be last chance selections, last chance opportunity, give it your all, because this is it.
Feelin' the Olympic pressure? Keep it in the Aussie Sevens family
I think we don’t put that kind of pressure on ourselves. But if anything’s going wrong we always come back to the girls, like we just have fun, we play our best footy when we have fun.
We’ve been put in such high pressure situations before, we’ve played in such big crowd capacities before on this World Series tournament, so we’re just treating it like any different event, but just the outcome is a little bit sweeter.
Olympic gold is not a phenomenon, it's attainable
We've had this vision and this dream for four years since we all started playing, and we talk about it so often that it just becomes a normality.
It's keeping in check with it and keeping in tune, just keep talking about it so it doesn’t become this phenomenon that’s not attainable.
We’re a very process-driven team, so we just tick the boxes, do the things we’ve got to do, that kind of stuff. Sounds very cliché, but that’s just how we go about our business. And yeah, you do find yourself pinching yourself in those moments, where you’re like I could actually be going to the Olympics or have the opportunity.
Grateful for the Olympic opportunity
We’re so grateful we have this opportunity and that we get to be a part of it, and we only hope to then pass that same thing on to other young girls. Four years ago I didn’t even know of this sport that existed and now I get to have an opportunity to go to the Olympics for it. So it’s very cool. (Alicia transferred over from touch football in 2011 after she received a letter from the Australian Rugby Union inviting her to try rugby).
Alicia's favourite Australian women's sport moment so far in 2016
Us winning the final in San Paolo. Getting to play to play in front of that Brazilian crowd, get that vibe in completely different conditions for us too and to come away with a 29-nil win was probably the best that we’ve done this season so far. So that’d be my favourite.