Dalton and Kingston in Sevens squads

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Sydney University’s Chloe Dalton has been named in the Australian women’s Sevens rugby team for the second leg of the 2016-17 Women’s World Series, to be played in Sydney on February 3 and 4.

Dalton is one of eight members of the gold medal-winning squad from the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games who will run out in Sydney, the first time the Australian women’s team will play on home soil in a World Rugby sanctioned tournament.

The first leg of the World Series was played in Dubai at the end of 2016, when the Australians lost 17-5 to New Zealand in the final.    

The women will get sole use of the main deck of Allianz Stadium on Friday, with the semi-finals and final to take centre stage in front of what should be a sell-out crowd on Saturday.

Australian Women’s Sevens head coach Tim Walsh said the team has prepared well. “The girls are going to be pumped from game one,” he said.  

Australia will face Brazil, Ireland and Fiji in Pool B, with other teams including Canada, the US, England, France, New Zealand, Russia and Spain.

The other four legs of the women’s series will be played in the US (March 3-5), Japan (April 22-23), Canada (May 27-28) and France (June 24-25).  

Meanwhile, Sydney University Football Club’s Tom Kingston is in the Australian men’s team for the third leg of the 2016-17 World Series to be played in Wellington, New Zealand this weekend.

SUFC team-mate Ed Jenkins will sit out the New Zealand leg after injuring his shoulder in the second leg in Cape Town last month.

Australia have drawn in Pool B alongside South Africa, Japan and Olympic gold medallists Fiji but are keeping one eye on their home tournament in Sydney the following weekend.

“The important thing for us is to get out of that third tier of teams,” Australian coach Andy Friend said. “We finished 11th in our last tournament and we have put ourselves in a very tough pool, so we have to fight and get out of that.

“Sydney is our target tournament this year and it’s our home tournament. It’s Australia playing in Australia so it’s very exciting but in saying that, we have to go to Wellington and do a job there. We know Sydney is around the corner but Wellington is the main focus right now.”

Other men’s teams in the World Series include Argentina, Canada, England, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, the US and Wales.

Following the Wellington tournament, the men’s series will move to Australia (February 4-5), the US (March 3-5), Canada (March 11-12), Hong Kong (April 7-9), Singapore (April 15-16), France (May 12-14) and England (May 20-21).

South Africa lead the men’s series on 41 points, with England (39), Fiji (32) and Scotland (27) making up the top four. Australia are in seventh place.