The University of Queensland has named its 24-player squad ahead of the Aon Uni7s competition which begins later this month in Tasmania.
UQ students, as well as members of Australia’s Olympic Sevens team feature in the line-up which will be looking to challenge for top of the table honours by the end of the four-tournament series.
Emilee Cherry is one of the two marquee players stepping into the squad, with young Aussie Sevens team mate Emma Sykes.
In addition to these two elite players, UQ will boast the services of two Dutch internationals, who have both played on the international sevens circuit, as well as three Commonwealth Youth Games representatives who recently won gold in The Bahamas.
Cherry is a recent graduate of the university having gained a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education Degree last year.
Graduation!!! In unconventional style I finally got my graduation photo 👩🏻🎓 (I graduated last year from UQ with a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education, but couldn't go to my graduation because of Rugby commitments). So today I got to kill two birds with one stone. While at the @aussie7s AON University 7s Series launch today, modelling the new UQ rugby kit, they handed us the graduation hats for photos. So I finally got my graduation photo 👩🏻🎓👩🏻🎓👩🏻🎓
Emma Sykes has also previously played for UQ and so is familiar with most of the players.
Her development from the time spent in the Australian squad has reportedly been a big eye-opener for the girls, looking now at the pathway and possibilities of what they can achieve.
The depth of the squad will also be enhanced by local talent such as Kody House, a Jillaroo who has represented both Australia and Queensland at the State of Origin level in rugby league.
Coach Reg Taylor believes his squad will perform well in the four-tournament competition with this depth as its key element.
“I think we’re going to be very competitive,” he said.
“We’ve worked very hard on maintaining our depth and making sure all 24 players are ready to be called upon when needed.
“The big focus for us has been depth and we feel if we can maintain that we’re going to be competitive across all four tournaments.”
UQ will host the third tournament of the Series in mid-September and given the strong rugby culture in the northern state and at the University, organisers will be expecting a big turnout to support this new initiative aimed at developing the Sevens format for women at the National domestic level.
University of Queensland
Bodil Van Wijnbergen
Elizabeth de Lange
Vetaronnica Tafito FomaiCatch the inaugural Aon Uni 7s LIVE and free from Tasmania on August 25 on RUGBY.com.au, and RUGBY.com.au Facebook LIVE