THE University of Canberra sevens side, featuring Ulladulla's Lily Murdoch and Cambewarra's Aroha Spillane, is set to be bolstered by the return of two Australian stars to help their bid to score a breakthrough series win at home.
Sharni Williams and Yasmin Meakes are expected to be available for selection next week for a perfectly-timed injection for the capital's leg of the national competition.
Canberra has finished third and fourth in the past two events, giving coach Liam McGrath confidence the side is on the right track to challenge for a title.
Williams and Meakes started the season with Canberra, but world series commitments will limit their input to mid-game messages from afar to help the side improve.
They will be available to play for Canberra if they get through national team training unscathed this week, giving McGrath a selection dilemma for his team on the rise.
"This group has achieved two top-four finishes, so it's a headache but it's a really good problem to have," McGrath said.
"The girls are really excited to see what they can achieve [with Williams and Meakes] now they've discovered what their identity is.
"It's going to be pretty cool to see what happens."
The result, however, moved Canberra to fourth on the overall standings and withing touching distance of the top three
The first three rounds have thrown up three different winning teams, with the University of Queensland, Griffith and University of Sydney - featuring Group Seven's Lauren Murty - each claiming victories.
Canberra is the next best, sitting just ahead of the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Adelaide.
McGrath credits the turnaround to a program overhaul, which has included nine months of preparation rather than a late rush to be ready for the sevens circuit.
He has blooded several new players and senior leaders have taken ownership of making sure the team improves.
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"We had a longer pre-season, we played seven Shute Shield tournaments together and there's been a lot of work done mid week and early mornings," McGrath said.
"We've built a program where girls can get some extra coverage and having that additional exposure to sevens has been really important.
"...Now the [competition] is established, we'll see less of the transitioned athletes [from other sports] at a later stage.
"What's been pleasing locally is the work the Brumbies have done at a junior level, girls are getting into rugby at seven, eight, nine years old and by the time they get to us they've got five or six years of rugby.
"Previously we were trying to bring touch or Oz-tag players, netballers, rowers ... basically whoever we could get and then trying to teach them.
"So we're seeing a huge benefit from the work the Brumbies are doing at grassroots."
Next round will be held in Canberra from October 26-27.