Meakes making most of Aussie Sevens shot

by Sam Phillips

Australian Women's Sevens coach Tim Walsh has handpicked six women capable of making the leap from rookies to World Series stars, signing them on development contracts.

After starring in the inaugural Aon Uni 7s series Grace Kaihu, Page McGregor, Lauren Brown, Katie Harrison, Alysia Fakaosilea and Yasmin Meakes will all spend one week per month training alongside the main Aussie Sevens group, soaking up invaluable intel in the process.

Meakes was one of the stars of the Uni 7s series, guiding the University of Canberra to some improved results throughout the back half of the series.

Her ability to attack the line and set up opportunities for others caught Walsh's eye and now she is part of a development squad which is adding some superb depth to the Australian setup.Yasmin Meakes starred for UC throughout the Uni 7s. Photo: Getty Images"It's very exciting and a bit overwhelming with all the new girls here, as well," Meakes said.

"It's an awesome environment."

Meakes only picked up Sevens for the first time through the Uni 7s series and already, the fire is burning to be part of bigger and better things within the Australian side.

"It was an exciting experience, yeah," she said of her time with UC.

"I have played a lot of touch football but getting that recognition was amazing, especially with the Canberra team."Meakes can score tries and set them up, too. Photo: Getty ImagesWalsh picked Meakes to take part in Australia's six match series against New Zealand in Bendigo last month and that has Meakes dreaming of Commonwealth and Olympic honours.

"It fuelled my fire to want to actually achieve this as one of my goals," she said.

"I didn't really see this as a goal but after Bendigo but it has really pushed me to want to crack the team and get to the Commonwealth Games and in the future, the Olympics."

She won't be part of the Australian side that tackles the Dubai Sevens in next week's World Series opener but she will get her chance to shine at the National Sevens in Bendigo, which kicks off Saturday.

She will captain the ACT outfit.

The National Sevens Championship kicks off in Bendigo on Saturday. Every match will be broadcast LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.

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