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Australia's best Sevens players aged under 18 head to Perth this weekend, where the stars of the future will compete in the Youth Sevens National Championships vying to impress coaches before next year's Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
The tournament kicks off on Saturday at McGillivray Oval at the University of Western Australia with all matches to be streamed LIVE on rugby.com.au.
The tournament is a highlight of the junior Sevens calendar which has grown substantially in the wake of the Rio Olympics, and offers youngsters a chance to stake their claim for selection in the Australian representative teams. Last year, eight players who participated in the tournament - Simon Kennewell, Josh Coward, Tim Anstee, Lachlan Anderson, Shanice Parker, Hannah Southwell, Demi Hayes and Emma Sykes - were rewarded with national contracts and an opportunity to don the illustrious gold jersey.
In both the girls’ and boys’ divisions, NSW will be out to defend the titles they took home in 2015. However, without a home advantage this year their competitors from Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and the National Indigenous teams will be playing for redemption.
ARU General Manager of High Performance, Ben Whitaker said: “We've already seen the kind of talent that can be discovered at these tournaments and I know there will be a few keen eyes on these future stars as we look to find the next crop of Australian Sevens players.
“The Youth Sevens National Championships are incredibly important for the development of Sevens in Australia, and it's fantastic that we have been able to take the Championships to Western Australia for the first time. I’m sure we'll see plenty of homegrown talent over the weekend.”
With free entry all weekend at McGillivray Oval, the public is urged to attend and show their support for the future stars of Australian Rugby Sevens.
Youth Sevens National Championship Girls
POOL A – NSW Blue, QLD White, WA, National Indigenous, NT
POOL B – QLD Red, ACT, NSW White, SA, Victoria
Youth Sevens National Championship Boys
POOL A – NSW Blue, QLD Red, NSW White, National Indigenous, NT
POOL B – Victoria, ACT, QLD White, WA, SA