Strengthening our Wallaroos pathway: Ben Whitaker

by Staff Writer

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has confirmed its commitment to strengthening the depth of our Women’s XVs Rugby in Australia with the Women’s National Championships returning in 2015, a Wallaroos camp to be held annually and the prospect of international matches from 2016.

The national program will have benefits for our Wallaroos High Performance program and supports XVs participation growth initiatives driven by our state and regional unions at a grassroots level.

The Wallaroos finished in a solid 7th position at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. In the tournament the squad had excellent performances against South Africa and Wales and an impressive performance against France.

The Wallaroos top 8 finish has guaranteed automatic qualification into the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup for Australia, allowing the ARU the benefit of three years of planning for success at this event. The 2015 Women’s National Championships in Sydney begins the preparation plan for the 2017 World Cup, enabling players and staff at State and Wallaroos level to be exposed to a high level national competition.

Eight teams from around the country will come to Sydney from Wednesday 24 June to Friday 26 June to see who will be crowned winners at the Women’s XVs National Championship.

These teams include: Sydney, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory,NSW Country and Australian Services (ASRU).

The commitment from the competing teams has been tremendous and augurs well for a great Championships and the ongoing development of Women’s Rugby.

From the National Championship a 40 player Wallaroos Development Squad will be selected for a week long camp at Bond University on the Gold Coast in late August. The camp will enable Wallaroos coaching staff the opportunity to work closely with prospective 2017 World Cup players, identifying key areas for development and challenging players’ desire to achieve via an intense training program that includes an internal squad trial.

The high performance strategy being developed encompasses all of Women’s Rugby, including Sevens. The national Sevens program will work closely with the Wallaroos program over the next three years to drive mutual development and high performance benefits to both programs. At a High Performance level it’s a great opportunity for the strengths of each program to combine to benefit all of Women’s Rugby in Australia.

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