Tui Ormsby is certainly not short on motivation to make Australia’s final squad for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France after being forced to sit out virtually all of the Wallaroos’ campaign four years ago through injury.
The fly half, who suffered a fractured eye socket in Australia’s opening match at WRWC 2010, is in line to play in her fourth Women’s Rugby World Cup after being selected in the squad for the series with Canada and the world champion Black Ferns in New Zealand in June.
However, the 36-year-old is not getting carried away with thoughts of France just yet, knowing the competition for places in the Wallaroos squad has been intense and expectation levels need to be met to remain in the mix after the series in New Zealand.
“[A fourth World Cup] is obviously very exciting, but August is a long way off yet,” insisted Ormsby. “The squad to play in the Tri Nations may not be the side on the plane to Paris. We have a lot of work to do as a team and as individuals if we want to keep our place.
“The Tri Nations tournament against New Zealand and Canada is our first priority and everyone in the Wallaroos squad knows that we have to be working very hard to keep our positions.
“If I am lucky enough to keep my place in the squad it would be fantastic to have the honour of representing my country for a fourth time. It would be truly amazing.
“I feel that I didn’t finish the job in the last World Cup due to my injury, so I can keen to get out there and play again in a World Cup match.
Great sense of camaraderie
“That was an incredibly frustrating time for me personally as I really wanted to play. I’m really about moving forward now though and focusing on trying to represent my country in a fourth World Cup.
“I love rugby, I love the Wallaroos and I love playing for my country.
“I think this squad has a great sense of camaraderie. There was this really positive energy at the national camp and I’m sure that will carry us through all the way on our pathway to Paris.”
Australia have not played a match since winning the third place play-off against France at WRWC 2010, but Ormsby insists the Wallaroos will be ready to go come August and can only benefit from their encounters with Canada and New Zealand.
“We will be able to test ourselves against the best team in the world against New Zealand.
“That will obviously be great for the players and the coaches to see where we are at and where we can improve. It will then give us some areas to work on at our Women’s Rugby World Cup assembly camp before we depart.
“Plus the opportunity to play New Zealand in New Zealand is going to be fantastic.”
Ready for the challenge
While Australia have rarely faced their Trans-Tasman rivals in Fifteens, their Sevens team have been going toe-to-toe with New Zealand on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series this season, each winning two events with the kiwis two points clear with one round to go in May.
With a number of her teammates from WRWC 2010 now shining in the Sevens game, it’s not surprising that the police officer expects their success to rub off on the Wallaroos squad.
“It’s very inspirational and that fact that Australia is doing so well in the Sevens World Series will only serve to galvanise us as the Wallaroos group. I thought Australia’s victory against New Zealand in Brazil was very clinical and they certainly deserve the success they are currently enjoying.”
Australia will face hosts France, Wales and South Africa at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 and while Ormsby knows the challenge that lies ahead, she has no doubt of the mind set the Wallaroos squad will arrive in Paris with.
“We expect tough matches from all those teams. Obviously Wales and France will be in red hot form after their match preparation from the Six Nations and you never count South Africa out. We are looking forward to the challenge.
“We have every intention of going better [than third] in this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup. Australians never, in any sport, go in with the mind set of coming second. We are not there to just make up the numbers. We are there to win.”