The bizarre job swap that propelled Australia to the top of the world

“We are in privileged positions where we are able to coach national teams in a game that we love, so you keep going, you love your job, you work hard and you get there.

“Results to date have taken care of themselves, and it’s a credit to the program and how the players and staff have behaved through the transition and not come to a conclusion. agreement on this.”

Australia celebrate their gold medal in Rugby 7s at the Commonwealth Games.Credit:Pennsylvania

Manenti said the success of 2022 was due to the hard work in the years leading up to the coaching swap.

“Both programs were really well put together before the change. Obviously, Tim and I have slightly different skill sets, but whatever has been done, we were able to strengthen both groups by bringing our skills on top of what was already there,” Manenti said.

“The foundation and hard work for both programs started after Tokyo and was built on the back of disappointment and so on, but also the need to be better.

“Both came out of very good tournaments in the double headers in Dubai to start the season and then obviously we changed and continued to go with both programs. But obviously it was a great move by RA but probably the behind-the-scenes work of the previous period of (performance director at seven) Scotty (Bowen) and others paved the way.

The victory was Australia's first gold medal in rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games.

The victory was Australia’s first gold medal in rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games.Credit:Getty

The historic achievement for Manenti’s men came after the program was significantly reduced, with just eight players under contract and others drawn from club ranks and fringe Super Rugby teams. It was a throwback to the old Australian Sevens structure and the fresh, ambitious energy complemented veterans like skipper Nick Malouf perfectly. Stars like Corey Toole emerged.

“It’s been a great year to see some young guys take their opportunity. The basis of what we have been able to do this year has just been hard work,” said Malouf. “It’s been a great year to be able to look back at where we started and where we are now. But we really want to make sure we finish with a great result here (at the World Cup). »

The best World Cup finish for the Australia men’s sevens team is second place, in 1993 and 2001.

Australia’s Olympic champion women’s team finished third in the Women’s World Cup in 2018; unable to match the Australian team’s victory of 2009.

“For our girls, we will have no excuses,” said skipper Charlotte Caslick.

“We’re not going to leave this tournament and say ‘well, we’re world champions or Commonwealth Games champions’, we want to have those three medals.”

The Australian women will begin their campaign against Madagascar on Friday evening (8:11 p.m.), and the men’s team will face the winner of Hong Kong against Uruguay a few hours later. Under a new knockout format, the tournament then goes straight to the quarter-finals.

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