Penrith’s Madison Ashby has re-signed with the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team for a further two years.
Sariah Paki and Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea have also signed new deals.
“I recall it was five years ago that I noticed the natural talent of these three players,” head coach Tim Walsh said.
“The trio have since completed their apprenticeships and developed into core squad members, who each offer unique and valuable world-class Sevens skills.
“Securing their commitment ensures a successful, sustainable and enjoyable environment for the future of the program.”
The news comes on the back of the recently announced re-signing of Maddison and Teagan Levi until the end of 2024.
Ashby made her debut in 2018 as a teenager, and went on to compete with the squad at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
The youngster from Penrith played a critical role in the Women’s Sevens all-conquering season, in which the squad won the Rugby World Cup, Commonwealth Games gold medal, and the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Ashby’s consistently outstanding form this year saw her picked in World Rugby’s Dream Team for the World Series.
“After winning the Triple Crown last year, the team is so excited by the prospect of the 2024 Olympics in Paris,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing my work with the team – it’s such an amazing group of girls and we feel that there’s a great rapport between us and the coaching staff.
“I feel so lucky and blessed to compete as a full-time Sevens player – it’s the pinnacle of women’s sport – it’s mentally and physically exhausting, but you compete against some of the best athletes in the world, which is incredibly rewarding.”
Coach Walsh says the three players have been critical to the team’s phenomenal success, and promise to continue that form into the new season.
“Madison holds an important leadership position within the team and has been instrumental in the execution of our campaigns. She has balanced leadership with on-field silky skills and an ever-improving physical presence,” he said.
“Sariah is the heart and soul of positivity and energy – often seen soaring through the air securing restarts or dominating rucks. She is authentic and ruthless, operating on a ‘team-first’ mindset –always there to protect her sisters on the field.
“Feared by opposing teams in attack and defence, Alysia possesses a cornucopia of world class skills. She’s competitive, witty, and an outstanding addition to the team, delivering elite standards with a smile!”