Australian Rugby today announced the signing of NSW netballer and Touch Football representative Tanisha Stanton to the Rugby Sevens Program.
Stanton, from Newcastle, New South Wales, has represented Australia and New South Wales in Netball at Under 17 and Under 19 level as well as Touch Football at national level.
Tanisha Stanton said: “I’m absolutely stoked to be joining the squad with all these talented athletes that are already here. I’m looking forward to trying something different and giving Rugby Sevens a crack.
“The other girls have been really welcoming. Training was hard but it has been great and I’m looking forward to seeing what the journey holds.”
Stanton added: “My ultimate goal is to compete for Australia in the Olympics of course. It’s anyone’s dream!”
The 18-year-old is the second Aboriginal female player to sign a full-time, professional contract with the Australian Rugby Women’s Sevens program following Taleena Simon’s arrival in July of this year.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Tanisha to the Rugby Sevens program. This is a classic case of an athlete who has excelled in another sport transferring her skill-set in order to chase her Olympic dream.
“I have seen enough of Tanisha already to know she will be an asset to the squad. Other countries across the world are developing their Rugby Sevens program so there is little doubt we face a huge challenge to qualify for the Olympics in Rio but it is a challenge we will meet head-on. Therefore, it is critical that we continue to improve our own program.”
The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team kicks off its 2014/15 Women’s Sevens World Series in Dubai in December – the first tournament on the Olympic qualification calendar. Only the top four countries in the 2014/15Women’s Sevens World Series will qualify for the Olympics in Rio.
Prior to that, the Australian Women’s Sevens side – featuring IRB Women’s Sevens World Player of the Year Emilee Cherry - will take on Canada in a three-match exhibition series at the Gold Coast Sevens (11-12 October).