RUNNING: Emma Sykes.
RUNNING: Emma Sykes. DAVID MOIR

Teenager eager to get amid the action for Aussie sevens side

RUGBY SEVENS: Emma Sykes says she'll cherish her time on the paddock at the Gold Coast, particularly if she can take some rein of the Australian women's side.

The teenager is excited to be amid a 13-strong line-up, which will get their Commonwealth Games campaign under way on April 13, with a clash against Wales.

A fleet-footed talent with a strong passing game, Sykes was identified as an oztag, touch and sevens prospect as a junior.

But she ultimately chose the latter, which offered a professional pathway and the lure of major tournaments.

"Growing up I always played touch football...and with sevens it's pretty much similar, just a bit of contact and a lot more space on the field," she said.

It's that freedom to move which really attracts her to the sport.

"I do like that there's so much space," she said.

"When you've got the ball in your hands you can just create something out of nothing."

And she relishes being a play-maker. That's a role she hopes to have at stages during the tournament.

"Controlling the attack, so that's where I see myself, but I'll do whatever my coach tells me to do, as long as I'm out there playing," she said.

Sykes moved to Sydney about a year and a half ago to join the Australian sevens full-time program.

Reigning Olympic champions, the hosts are expected to be hard to beat at the Gold Coast.

"We're going out there to perform at our best and in our minds we're going to win it," she said. "But as long as we perform at our best I'm sure we'll do everyone proud."

The Chancellor State College product and her team-mates are among eight teams set to compete at the Games.



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