Georgia Hannaway and Faith Nathan earn Dubai Sevens World Series debuts


Caslick’s mishap brings to eight the number of top players unavailable for the tournament through injury or, in Emilee Cherry’s case, new motherhood.

Faith Nathan, in action for Cronulla last year, promises big things. Credit:Adam McLean

But in a sign of the talent coming through Australia’s pathways nowadays, coach John Manenti sent both Nathan and Hannaway to the Oceania Sevens earlier this month and welcomed them home winners.

“[Nathan] literally knocked the door down with performances you can’t refuse in training. She is not a big girl but she is learning quick, she is playing smart, she is thinking smart, she was really impressive in Oceania but has come back here and is standing up; knocking Ellia [Green] over at training and things like that,” Manenti said. “Georgia was a standout player in AON [uni sevens], and we wanted to reward her with an opportunity to show that that AON system means something to us and it does.”

Major blow: Charlotte Caslick was ruled out of the Dubai 7s with a hamstring injury.

Major blow: Charlotte Caslick was ruled out of the Dubai 7s with a hamstring injury.Credit:AAP

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Hannaway is the classic natural footballer who plays what she sees in front of her. The step up to the elite competition awaiting in Dubai will test her capacity to play within Australia’s structures but if the teen’s rapid rise from spectator to Australian rep is anything to go by, the University of Queensland product will adapt quickly and could even challenge for an Olympics berth.

“I love that challenge [stepping up] and I also love playing my game, just having a go, and having the girls around me that will just follow me and back me with all my decisions,” she said. “I definitely like playing bigger competitions so I’m pretty excited about this one.”

Australia will meet Fiji, Ireland and Spain in Pool B when the tournament kicks off on December 5.



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