Sykes is fit and ready for Games
RUGBY SEVENS: With more than a year under the green and gold banner, Sunshine Coast's Emma Sykes says there will be no excuses for under-performing on the Commonwealth Games stage.
The Sippy Downs 19-year-old said she'd been getting "goosebumps” simply watching the Commonwealth Games and was hungry to get her own taste of the action.
She'll get her chance on Friday when Australia take on Wales at Robina Stadium.
"We've been watching that (Games) quite a bit in our downtime and watching all the other Aussie athletes compete,” Sykes said.
"I've been getting goosebumps just watching some of the people perform so I'm very eager to go out there and play.”
Sykes made her debut for Australia in late 2016 and spent much of last year, and the start of this year, in action against the world's best.
Although it's her first Games, she believes that past experience on the field has placed her in good stead for a strong showing at the Gold Coast.
"Once we go out there we'll probably forget that it's a Commonwealth Games and just play like we normally do in the world series,” she said.
"I've got a few caps under my belt now and there's no excuses for me personally.
"I'm feeling very confident in my job and my role in the team so I'm just really eager to go out there and chuck the footy around.”
The Australian Sevens head into the competition with plenty of lofty expectations, after winning gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
While that was the goal again this time around, Sykes expected plenty of stiff competition blocking their path.
"Obviously everybody has gold at the back of their minds because you don't want anything else but the gold and that's what we've been training for,” she said.
"I think every team is going to be strong and obviously it's a Commonwealth Games so everyone is going to step up to that next level, but you can't go past New Zealand and Canada, England will also be very strong.”
Sykes and her teammates are on the Sunshine Coast preparing for the Games.