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By ARU Media Unit, Community Rugby
Six months ago, 19 year old Ellia Green, was just another young woman who enjoyed playing a number of different sports. Now she is just days away from the experience of a lifetime, making her Rugby Sevens debut for Australia in the second round of IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Houston.
It’s a startling thought considering her first official experience with the game of Rugby Sevens was less than five months ago.
Ellia was one of almost 1,000 women across Australia who attended one of the ’Pathway to Gold’ Rugby Sevens trials run by the ARU throughout the second half 2012.
The trials provided women of all ages with an introduction to Rugby Sevens, a sport that is continuing to grow in popularity around the globe.
Ellia was identified at the trials by ARU high Performance Coaches with the potential to play Rugby Sevens at the elite level. After impressing during the first round of trials in Melbourne Ellia was one of 80 women to be invited to attend a Development Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
From there she was one of just five to be invited to a selection camp also held at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Relishing in the opportunity to show off her skills, Ellia quickly made a good impression on the coaching staff.
This week Ellia has been announced as a member of the Australian team to travel to Houston in the USA for the second round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, which features Women’s Rugby Sevens powerhouses like New Zealand, Canada, England and Spain.
Speaking with rugby.com.au Ellia said she was jumping out of her skin with excitement at the opportunity.
“It’s a very new, fresh start. I don’t have very much experience in Sevens, but have been sprinting since I was six years old,” Ellia said from the team’s camp in Canberra.
Her previous experience as a representative of the Melbourne Tigers basketball team and for Australia in sprinting has given Ellia the pace and skill-set required for Rugby Sevens.
In fact it was the advice of her Fijian Rugby-playing cousins who told her she had the required skills for Rugby Sevens, that helped Ellia decide to attend the trials.
“My brother plays so it was always in the back of mind to play. Now that I’m fitter and stronger I thought I’d have a go,” Ellia said.
Ellia said she would definitely recommend the Women’s Sevens trials to others wanting to try their hand at a different sport with great opportunities.
“I have no regrets going to the tryouts. Even if you don’t make it, it’s such a great experience and so good to meet so many amazing athletes from all different sporting backgrounds and learn some great skills.
She says the path for her has been indescribable.
“To be able to represent Australia in a sport I’m not familiar with is unbelievable and such a great opportunity. I can’t wait,” Ellia said.
After seeing Ellia in action at the trials, Qantas Women’s Sevens Coach, Chris Lane said Ellia has proven that you never know what can happen if you give it a go.
“It will be her first sevens tournament, so we’re throwing her in at the deep end but she has a background in the sport and I’m really excited for her,” Lane said.
Ellia has a lot to look forward to with the chance to represent Australia at the Rugby Sevens World Cup this year in Moscow and at the next Olympics in 2016 at Rio.
Following the success of the Women’s Sevens Trials in 2012 more are being planned for this year. For information or to register your interest in the next trials visit the Australian Rugby Sevens page here.
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.
We’re excited to announce that Australian Rugby will be moving to a new online system for national competition management and participant registration for the 2014 Rugby Sevens season and the 2015 club Rugby season.
We’re set for an exciting year with plenty to look forward to in 2014, including our Qantas Men’s Sevens team competing in the Commonwealth Games (July), the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France (August) and the launch of a new domestic competition – the National Rugby Championship (August).