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By ARU Media Unit
Australia‟s U18 7s team has just wrapped up its preparations for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man 7-13th September. The 12 player squad has been selected after a series of camps and trial days and attended a 5 day assembly camp at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) before flying out on Qantas Flight 1 on Monday 5th September for London and onto the Isle of Man. th November 2011. The Schoolboy 7s Tournament will bring together the best schoolboy 7s teams from across Australia vying to make the final to be played before the final of the iRB World Sevens Tournament at Skilled Stadium.
The 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games marks the second Youth Games that Rugby 7s has been involved. The last Youth Games where Rugby 7s featured was the 2006 Games in Bendigo, Victoria. The Australian U18 7s team collected the gold medal after a dramatic final against England. Players included current Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano, Waratahs halfback Josh Holmes, whilst the team was coached by current Waratahs Assistant Coach and former Wallaby player Scott Bowen.
The 2011 Youth Games experience is rated extremely important by the ARU due to the increased emphasis placed on Rugby 7s with the recent introduction into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The U18 players selected for the Youth Games will be the prime age of 22/23 years of age in 2016 placing them well and truly on the road to Rio if they can maintain the motivation and standards required to reach the status of a genuine high performance athlete and hopefully Olympian.
Rugby 7s will provide significant offerings for school aged players across Australia over the next 12-36 months with many key events and tournaments planned. A significant event is the National Schoolboy Tournament to coincide with the most recent addition to the iRB World Sevens Series – the Gold Coast tournament to be staged 25-26
The Junior Gold Youth 7s program for players U18 will provide the best potential players in Australia with selection in national High Performance Camps. The series of camps will involve coaching from our National Men‟s 7s Coach Michael O‟Connor. Schoolgirl 7s will also build gradually with plans in place for a Schoolgirl representative 7s program and various Junior Gold Youth 7s Training Days and Camps in the next 12 months.
Players from the Qantas Australian Women's Sevens program visited the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick on Thursday to bring some needed festive cheer to sick children.