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From Fiji Times Online (29 December 2011)

Tavo on cloud nine

by Josefa Makaba

Rebecca Tavo
Rebbeca Tavo trains with the Australian women's sevens team

ROTUMA lass Rebbeca Tavo was on cloud nine when told that she was to captain the Australian women's sevens team to the first-ever IRB-sanctioned women's tournament held early this month.

That tournament was held alongside the men's Dubai 7s tournament during the second leg of the 2010/1011 IRB Sevens World Series.

The 28-year-old Tavo is the daughter of Langsefuri Albert who has connections to the village of Oinafa and Ititiu and currently resides in Brisbane, Australia.

Tavo told Times Sport that she just couldn't believe it when the Australian Women's sevens coach told her that she has been selected to captain the team.

"When my coach asked me to be captain I was blown away," Tavo said.

"At first I was unsure if I was able to the job. I thought why me? But those thoughts soon went out of the window," she said.

Tavo said after some time the reality of the breaking news sunk in. "I was really excited but I was ready to give it my best shot," Tavo said. Tavo's selection to the position of Australian women's sevens captain will surprise many rugby fans especially as she didn't play rugby sevens until 2008.

"My background is touch football as touch is a popular game here in Australia," Tavo said. "The Australia Rugby Union approached me to give 7s a go in 2008."

"So in 2008 I participated in the trials for the first time for a place in the Australian women's team."

"That team was to play in the World Cup qualifier that was to be held in Samoa that year," Tavo said.

"That's how I started playing 7s. I also played 15s when I could for Brothers in Brisbane but couldn't keep it up because I had commitments for Australian touch and work," Tavo said.

Tavo's work commitment in the mines doesn't allow her a lot of free times for training. "I work in the mines 2 weeks on 2 weeks off," Tavo said. "My family love the fact that I play rugby and they are very supportive and very proud."

Tavo says she visits relatives in Fiji and Rotuma when she finds time.

"I come to Fiji every year or two. This is where our family meet and have holidays."

"I like it as it is so beautiful there and relaxing with a lot of beautiful people."

Tavo says she hopes to come home one day and help in the development of women's rugby. "Hopefully I can do some rugby workshops there soon with the kids or the girls. I have been to Rotuma and I love it there....Paradise. I have to go back soon to see my aunty," Tavo said.

"I always love the fara (Rotuma traditional celebration) when you go around the village in a group singing, dancing around Xmas time. That was an awesome experience." Now as Tavo has established herself as a key player in the Australian women's sevens team, she says she still has to work very hard.

"You have to train harder than anybody else and be consistent, never give up and never let anybody tell you that you can't do it."

Tavo says she is looking forward to playing against the Fiji team. "Yes I can't wait to play them. I have been telling my girls how awesome they are, strong physiques, natural powerful runners, tough and skilful."