The return of co-captain Sharni Williams is one of four changes to the Australia squad as they target a first title of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in Langford, Canada, on 27-28 May.

Williams sat out the last round in Kitakyushu where an injury-hit Australian side finished third, but comes back into the squad with Brooke Walker and Youth Olympic gold medallist Tiana Penitani. The other change see Cassie Staples selected for the first time after catching the eye in the development squad.

Two big names missing for the Olympic champions are Ellia Green and Evania Pelite as a result of the knee injuries that cut short their tournament in Kitakyushu, while Emma Sykes and Mahalia Murphy are rested for the penultimate round of the 2016-17 series.


“We’re going to Canada fixed on performing to the best of our ability and we're going there to win,” insisted coach Tim Walsh.

“We’ve got a really strong squad with a great mix of youth and experience. There's a great opportunity for some new stars to be born.

“Cassie is a unique talent, and a perfect example of the kind of athlete we want to unearth during the Aon Uni Sevens Series later this year. She's fast, tough and agile but also, more importantly, has a real point of difference. 

“We haven't performed to our standards this season and we have to own that and live with that. We're fully focused on this tournament.”

Defending series champions Australia will face Ireland, Fiji and Spain in Pool C at Westhills Stadium.

Australia squad: Sharni Williams (co-captain), Demi Hayes, Shannon Parry (co-captain), Tiana Penitani, Chloe Dalton, Georgina Friedrichs, Charlotte Caslick, Brooke Walker, Alicia Quirk, Dominique Du Toit, Emilee Cherry, Cassie Staples.

13th player: Shanice Parker