29 Jan 2018

Give us some rugby respect say Aussies

2:58 pm on 29 January 2018

Australia's drought-breaking men's Sydney rugby sevens title will give his team the respect they deserve ahead of April's Commonwealth Games, says coach Andy Friend.

The men won their first World Series tournament title since 2012 on Sunday night, demolishing series leaders South Africa 29-0 in the final at Allianz Stadium to complete a double for the host nation after the women's team crushed New Zealand in their final.

The men had earmarked the Sydney tournament, as well as April's Games and July's World Cup as winnable fixtures as they aimed to build their profile.

"I'm just pleased for them ... a lot of people don't necessarily give the sevens the respect it deserves," said Friend.

"I've been coaching now for 23 years, I've never seen a group of people work harder than these blokes.

Australia won both the men's and the women's Sydney Sevens tournament.

Australia won both the men's and the women's Sydney Sevens tournament. Photo: Photosport

"To see them day in, day out but not get the recognition has been very tough."

Friend said this victory would do wonders for the side away from the field, given the sport in Australia had largely clung to the Australian women's Olympic gold medal performance in 2016.

"The brand is there because of what the girls have done," he said.

"But for us, we haven't necessarily had that and I think now people might take a bit more notice of it, which for me is really pleasing."

"(We've got a) home Commonwealth Games up on the Gold Coast and who knows what's going to happen there now."