Cherry hopes to maintain good form at Dubai world series


Emilee Cherry with Chris Lane.
Emilee Cherry with Chris Lane. Nev Madsen

EMILEE Cherry will be hoping to maintain her excellent record in Dubai when the 2013/14 IRB Women's Sevens World Series kicks off today.

Cherry was Australia's leading try-scorer in last year's World Series round in the United Arab Emirates but it went on to be a lean season for the Aussies.

They finished the inaugural competition in fifth but head into this year's campaign with a spring in their step after taking out the Oceania Sevens last month.

Cherry, one of Australia's key attacking weapons, believed her side was now in a much stronger position to challenge for the title.

"I look back at videos of two years ago and the game has changed so much, it's become more physical," Cherry said on the IRB Sevens World show.

"It was very much about individual skill and that passing game, and now the physicality has also come into it.

"As a team one thing that I think we lacked last series was that physical edge and it really cost us."

It will be the first World Series for new coach Tim Walsh but he believed Australia was ready for the challenge.

"The first round of a World Series is always an eye opener. New players, coaches, referees, teams and opportunities all result in an exciting battle on and off the field," Walsh said.

"Despite the geographical boundaries, the team has had a gruelling pre-season involving plenty of intensive camps.

"Strength and conditioning results suggest we are fitter than we've ever been and, with many players gaining experience from last season, we're going into the opening round well prepared.

"The side has a good balance of powerful ball runners, accurate ball distributors and speed with the inclusion of Rachel Crothers, Emma Tonegato, Ellia Green and Emilee Cherry."

Australia has drawn Pool C for the opening round and will face Canada, Brazil and France.

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