Australia’s best women Rugby players will be vying for a place in the Australian team for next year’s IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup as part of this week’s National Women’s Championships, being held in Sydney.
The three-day tournament will be played at St. Ignatius College, Riverview from Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 September, with reigning champions Queensland and runner up Australian Services looking for a strong performance.
The tournament will also feature NSW Country, Sydney Women’s, Brumbies Rugby, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.
While national bragging rights are already on the line, the tournament also acts as a selection tool for the Wallaroos, who will compete at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France next year.
The tournament will feature a number of Wallaroos from the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup side, including Queensland captain Tricia Brown, Danielle Meskell, Ash Hewson and Chris Ross.
There will also be a handful of dual internationals on show with Tui Ormsby, Sydney captain Cobie-Jane Morgan and Rugby League World Cup winner Alex Sulusi all competing.
Hanna Sio, a current member of the Australia Sevens squad and the sister of Paramatta Eel’s star, Ken Sio, will also play.
The competition is attracting talent from the United States, with Los Angeles-based Chloe Butler making the leap from gridiron, for a chance to showcase her skills in another code.
The American Football star originally grew up in the Queensland outback chasing kangaroos, but is now making a name for herself on a different paddock.
Butler began her pathway to stardom at the Australian Institute of Sport in her quest to hurdle in the London Olympics, but was held back by a series of stress fractures which prompted her move to play gridiron in the USA.
Since then, Butler has set even higher goals for herself and is returning to her grassroots here in Australia, a player to look out for in the next few days.
The participants will be trying to impress recently appointed Head Coach of the Wallaroos, Paul Verrell.
From the Illawarra, Paul Verrell, has had a long and diverse Rugby coaching career, including overseeing NSW Country representative sides, coaching junior elite programmes and experience in women’s Rugby, both sevens and 15s.
Following the National Championships, an Australian squad of 44 will be selected, as part of the Wallaroos’ preparation for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France.
Australia’s road to France will include a training camp in February next year followed by a reduced squad of 26 players who will travel to New Zealand to play the Black Ferns and Canada in June, before taking on the rest of the world in August.
Australia placed third at the most recent Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2010 behind England and New Zealand.
National Women’s Rugby Championships
Dates: Thursday 26, September – Saturday 28, September
Location: St Ignatius’ College Riverview, Tambourine Bay Road, Lane Cove, NSW
For a full match schedule CLICK HERE