Australia's next line of women's rugby sevens talent have arrived to send a statement across the Tasman amid a bright start to their Olympic title defence.
John Manenti's side crushed hosts Japan 48-0 then beat a plucky China 26-10 on day one of their competition in humid Tokyo on Thursday.
Rio gold medallists Charlotte Caslick, Emma Tonegato and Sharni Williams were their usual imperious selves, Tonegato with three tries in their game one romp, Williams dominant in defence and Caslick razor-sharp with ball in hand.
But it was the contributions of fresh faces like Maddison Levi, Faith Nathan and Madison Ashby that sent a message across the Tasman as they look to topple tournament favourites New Zealand.
Fresh off an AFLW campaign with Gold Coast, teenager Levi showed great pace and confidence to score twice against Japan, while 21-year-old Nathan also put the foot down for a long-range try against China.
Ashby, 20, combined well with Caslick in the engine room, throwing the pass to put Nathan away and scoring herself against China, who managed to score the first and last tries.
Manenti agonised over the decision to leave destructive weapon Ellia Green out of the final Tokyo squad.
But he would have been pleased with the team's physicality and the extra contributions as they look ahead to a final pool game against the United States and quarter-finals on Friday.
"I definitely was concerned about this game; Japan, playing at home, it would be very emotional for them and the pressures and expectations could have built on us," Manenti said after the first win.
"We know Maddi can run. She is still raw and has a lot to learn, so we'll manage her tenderly over the weekend and give her opportunities at the right time.
"But you can see she can run fast when she gets hands on the ball and she's a weapon. She's here to contribute and she's done that."
Australia pipped the Kiwis in the Rio gold medal match and clung on to win the World Series title in 2018, but New Zealand have hogged the trophies since and arrived in Japan as warm favourites.
They were pushed to the limit on Thursday though, coming from 21-0 down to beat Great Britain 24-21 while France were the unbeaten team in the third group.
Australian Associated Press