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The entire Australian Women’s Sevens squad will play in the upcoming Women’s Aon Uni 7s Series, with players to link up with the university teams around the country.
Stars of Australia’s gold medal charge at the Rio Olympic Games, including such as Charlotte Caslick, Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Emilee Cherry, Alicia Quirk, Chloe Dalton and Evania Pelite will bolster the university teams, ensuring that the competition kicks off with world-class players and skills on show.
The Aon Uni 7s Series will include four two-day tournaments at the University of Tasmania, Launceston (25-26 August), Macquarie University, Sydney (9-10 September), University of Queensland, Brisbane (16-17 September) and Bond University, Gold Coast (29-30 September).
Olympic Gold Medalist and Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Co-Captain, Shannon Parry said: “To go from training and playing alongside my Aussie Sevens team mates to competing against them will be really tough, but we’re all excited about the challenge.”
“With us all spread out amongst the teams, we’ll be able to share our knowledge and experience with the next generation of players, which is a great opportunity for them and us. It’s our chance to inspire the younger girls, and knowing the competitive spirit of my team mates, all of us will be playing to win.”
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said he hopes the national competition lures across female athletes from other sports, as he looks to build a strong squad in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“This competition is a really exciting step forward for Women’s Rugby Sevens. Players and coaches will have the opportunity to build combinations and strategies over four tournaments and on a national stage where all the Australian scouts will be watching,” he said.
“Most of our Olympic champions started out in other sports, so I strongly encourage athletes from any sport to get involved with the competition. If you want to be a Rugby Sevens Olympian in 2020, you need to start that journey now.
“We are looking to add some athletes with a real point of difference to our squad and we can’t wait to unearth some new talent.”
ARU General Manager of High Performance, Ben Whitaker said: “This competition is a great addition to our Rugby Sevens pathway."
“With eight teams competing from around the country we have a solid national footprint and we have already had inquiries from other universities around the country about expanding the competition next year.
“The competition has been scheduled so that there’s no overlap with the HSBC Sevens Series so we expect it to attract interest from overseas, with the possibility for international Sevens players to compete in the future. We want this to be the best university-based Women’s Rugby Sevens competition in the world, and with the women’s university rugby scene already thriving in the US and Canada, we know we have a great opportunity to make this happen.”
The Series kicks off in August, with the tournament format to emulate the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series.
2017 Women’s Aon Uni 7s Series Player Allocations:
University of New England, NSW - Alicia Quirk and Hannah Southwell
Macquarie University, NSW - Dominique Du Toit and Chloe Dalton
University of Tasmania, TAS - Ellia Green, Georgie Friedrichs and Shanice Parker
University of Adelaide, SA - Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite and Mahalia Murphy
University of Canberra, ACT - Sharni Williams and Brooke Anderson
Griffith University, QLD - Shannon Parry and Demi Hayes
Bond University, QLD - Charlotte Caslick and Brooke Walker
University of Queensland, QLD - Emilee Cherry and Emma Sykes
2017 Women’s Aon Uni 7s Series Fixtures
Round 1 - University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston, 25-26 August
Round 2 - Macquarie University fields, Sydney, 9-10 September
Round 3 - University of Queensland fields, Brisbane, 16-17 September
Round 4 - Bond University fields, Gold Coast, 29-30 September