Rugby Sevens gold medallist Emilee Cherry says the new Uni7s competition will be as beneficial for national players as the rising stars they’ll be facing off against.
Cherry, who has been capped 18 times for Australia, said the opportunity for skill and fitness growth will be valuable for experienced campaigners and those new to the sport.
“For those top players, it’s going to be the extra fitness conditioning of playing a game, it’s so different to running around on a field, so we’re definitely looking at that side of it, and we’ll be looking to go out there and try new things,” she said.
“We don’t have the pressure of playing on the World Series, we can go back, play for a club team, try a few new things for us, and of course the pathway for other girls is going to be awesome, to be seen from other sports or from rugby coming through.”
Cherry said the new competition would change the way the Aussie Sevens find their next generation of talent.
“It’s kind of groundbreaking, across Australia, there’s been no domestic competition that we’ve been able to play in, we kind of got picked from other sports,” she said.
“For there to now be a platform for some of the other girls to come through, test themselves against some great girls and see how they go, with hopefully the end goal of being fitting into the Australian Women’s Sevens team (is great).”
Cherry also made mention of how club connection to her beloved University of Queensland helps foster a love for the game.
The former World Sevens Player of the Year said she would relish the chance to return to her alma mater for the tournaments as well, and has already begun recruiting.
“I lived on campus at UQ, and just graduated last year, so I’m really excited to be able to go back home and get the opportunity to play for UQ again,” she said.
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 👩🏻🎓👩🏻🎓👩🏻🎓
“I used to go down and watch the (Queensland Premier Rugby side) Red Heavies play, and it was an awesome atmosphere to be involved in as a spectator, so I’m really excited to go back and be able to play for the Red Heavies.
“I’ve got some old touch friends that I’ve rung up, messaged, and said, can you please go to UQ so hopefully to get the chance to play UQ rugby with them will be pretty exciting.”
The Aon Uni 7s kicks off on August 25, with a tournament at the University of Tasmania, Launceston, STREAMED LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.