Australia’s women’s rugby sevens superstar and Instagram queen on her sudden rise to national prominence.
Trailblazer, Olympic gold medallist, the No.1 women’s rugby sevens player on the face of the earth — Charlotte Caslick’s got a pretty handy CV for a 22-year-old. And during some rare down time between jetting around the globe on the World Rugby Sevens Series, the superstar scrum-half sat down with Men’s Style to talk Olympics, rugby, and the boom in women’s sport.
How did you get involved with rugby in the first place?
I was 16 playing touch for Australia when I got asked to try rugby sevens. I made the switch because of the endless opportunities rugby could give me, especially being an Olympic sport. When we became a professional sport we were centralised in Sydney, which meant I had to move away from my family when I was 18.
Women’s sport has gone through the roof recently — why is that?
I think that sporting bodies believing in the women’s side of the game has given us so much more exposure. As soon as audiences get the opportunity to see women’s sport they love it immediately.
What was the impact of Australia’s women’s rugby sevens gold medal in Rio?
It certainly provided a huge boost for us in particular, with girls all over the world wanting to try out sevens. It seemed to also change the mindsets around women’s rugby — and schools and rugby clubs are starting to give young girls the same opportunity to play rugby as what boys get.
What are some of the myths and misconceptions around women’s sport, especially rugby, that you’re trying to dispel?
There’s a misconception that we aren’t as skilful as boys but I disagree completely with that. We obviously will never be as fast so I think we make up for that in the skill aspects of the game. A lot of our team only started playing rugby less than five years ago, so the level at which we play just continues to get stronger and stronger.
Rugby sevens goes from strength to strength, the NRL is discussing a women’s comp like the AFLW — what does the future of women’s rugby look like?
The future’s looking very bright. The more competitions for women, the stronger the depth becomes across all women’s sport. It would be great to see every NRL club also have a women’s team and hopefully one day we can have a national sevens tournament also played around Australia. It really is the spectator’s dream sport.
What’s your advice to kids — girls and boys, but especially girls who have all these new sporting heroes — who dream of a career in sport?
Take any opportunity you’re given and don’t specialise in a sport too early. I think it’s great to be able to play all different types of sports and learn from each of them. Also, not taking those opportunities for granted. Australia can offer so many amazing opportunities within a wide range of sports, male or female, and sometimes it’s easy to take that for granted.
And what would you say to spectators who haven’t given women’s rugby a go, or are still critical of women’s sport?
I would just say come down and watch us play — I think we can change their mindset by what we do on the field without necessarily saying anything!
Check out Charlotte’s Instagram account, too. It rocks, as the sample below proves.