The University of Canberra has unveiled its 23-player squad for the forthcoming Women’s Aon Uni 7s Series.
Aussie Sevens marquee players Sharni Williams and Cassie Staples headline the team which also boasts the talent of international import, USA Eagles player Abbie Gustaivis.
Gustaivis is currently in Ireland, as is Williams, at the Women’s Rugby World Cup but will be available for selection upon their return from XVs duties.
With Staples having impressed on debut this year for the Aussie Sevens team, the UC outfit will be confident in the level of international quality and experience in its ranks to help lead the local players in this inaugural competition.
The remainder of the squad is largely made up of players from the local and Southern NSW region, 13 of whom are studying at the University.
Head coach David Grimmond has been pleased with the calibre of talent on offer, feeling spoilt for choice with rugby sevens specialists, experienced XVs practitioners and players new to the game who boast impressive records in other sports.
“The Aon Uni 7s Series is an exciting initiative. It’s a huge step forward for not just Rugby Sevens in Canberra and the surrounding region, but for the sport all together,” he said.
“We had a lot of interest from the very beginning. We’ve got players from a variety of sporting backgrounds who want to play Sevens.
“Australian touch footballers, rugby league representatives, and girls who’ve achieved great things in athletics - we’ve got them all and I’m very pleased with the squad at my disposal.”
With only a fortnight until the Uni7s competition kicks off, Grimmond is looking to test combinations and put the squad through its paces this weekend, as it takes on Macquarie University in a trial match in Bowral on Sunday.
“We’ll use the game against Macquarie University to see where we’re at against a quality opposition,” he said.
“The girls are excited to get on the pitch and I’m looking forward to seeing our hard work pay off.”
University of Canberra
Catch the inaugural Aon Uni 7s LIVE and free from Tasmania on August 25 on RUGBY.com.au, and RUGBY.com.au Facebook LIVE