Sevens Olympic champion Caslick fractures back playing league

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Rugby - Women's Quarterfinals Australia v Spain - Deodoro Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Charlotte Caslick (AUS) of Australia runs in for a try. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Charlotte Caslick, one of the standout players in Australia’s run to Olympic sevens gold in Rio four years ago, has sustained two fractures to her lower back playing rugby league for the Sydney Roosters.

The 25-year-old back was freed up to play in the National Rugby League Women (NRLW) competition by the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and helped the Roosters into the final before succumbing to the injury that will sideline her for a month.

“Extremely disappointed to be ruled out of the remainder of the NRLW season,” she said in a post on Instagram on Wednesday.

“I’ve enjoyed my short rugby league stint and I’m so grateful to the Sydney Roosters for giving me this opportunity.”

Caslick is expected return to Australia’s sevens programme after her recovery as the inaugural Olympic gold medallists prepare to defend their crown in Tokyo next year.

Rugby Australia announced earlier on Wednesday that two of the other members of the team that beat New Zealand in the Rio final had extended their contracts through next year’s Tokyo Games.

Flying winger Ellia Green and utility Evania Pelite, who are both also playing in NRLW, joined Chloe Dalton, Shannon Parry and skipper Sharni Williams in confirming they would be sticking around until Tokyo.

“To lock them in continues to ensure that our plans for next year are shaping well, with the squad not taking a backwards step in our preparation this year,” coach John Manenti said in a statement.

The Roosters will play the Brisbane Broncos in the NRLW Grand Final on Oct. 25 looking to prevent their opponents from sweeping the first three titles in the competition.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Robert Birsel