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Rio awaits for sevens young guns: Aus capt
Rob Forsaith
18:18 AEST Sun Jan 20 2013

The maiden Olympic voyage for Rebecca Tavo, captain of Australia's women's rugby sevens side, will be an uncertain one but the train driver from WA is feeling a lot more confident after watching her understudies triumph this week.

Australia's under-18 girls edged China 40-0 in their Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) gold-medal match on the weekend, while the boys were beaten 22-7 by South Africa in their decider.

It was the first time the seven-a-side sport, which has been added to the Olympic program for the Rio Games, was played with the backdrop of the five rings.

It was also the first international competition for most of the girls, and Tavo was impressed.

"A lot of them are from a touch background, I know a lot of them from touch and they play at open level," she said.

"So with moving to sevens, all they had to learn was to tackle.

"They certainly did that. They had no fear. That impressed me the most - that every single one of them didn't take a step backwards.

"I said to them `I love that. It's so Aussie.' You look at the animals on the coat of arms and that's what they do'.

"They did so well. Attack came naturally, but defence was new and something that really impressed me."

Tavo said there was a lot of talent that could feature in the 2016 Olympics, nominating Evania Pelite as one girl she wants in the national squad when she turns 18.

"I can't wait to play with them. We - the senior squad - we're lacking a few things and it's all there coming through.

"For them, it's such a great opportunity and this is just the start of it.

"I said that to them yesterday. They were so excited and happy when they won, and I said `this is just the start. Remember what this feels like and I tell you ... you'll all be up there feeling 100 times more than what you're feeling right now'."


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