Colorado call-up for Australia's most versatile rugby star

Womens - Colorado
by Iain Payten

The Australian women’s sevens team will have to adjust to mile-high altitude in in Colorado next week but for new recruit Samantha Treherne, having her head in the clouds is the nothing new.

It’s been that sort of year for the 24-year-old.

Treherne was was named on Friday to make her Australian sevens debut in the opening tournament of the 2018-19 World Series, on the back of strong form in the Aon Uni 7s and a pre-season tournament in Japan last month.

It is a dream come true for Melbourne-rasied Treherne but coach John Manenti will be comfortable in the knowledge the speedy outside back won’t be overawed by the new challenge.

Samanthan Treherne at Australian sevens training this week. Photo: CambridgeTreherne is arguably the most versatile rugby player in Australia after this year alone having played in the Super W for Queensland, represented the Wallaroos in two Test matches against New Zealand and also starred for Griffith in the Aon Uni 7s.

“I am pretty excited, coming straight from Aon and then to Japan and now straight to Colorado, I am still in a bit of shock with it all,” Treherne said.

“There has been a lot of trainings for different teams and different styles of teams.

“It’s just a huge blur at the moment, its been a long time coming and waiting for this moment so it’s really great.”

Treherne is so used to jumping between teams and formats this year her first call after being informed of her Australian call-up was to the coach of the sevens team she was supposed to be playing for this weekend in Noosa. 

That’s where her parents will be too, after booking a trip to watch her play.

But after a long and winding road to the top for Treherne, they won’t mind a bit.

A standout in both sevens and fifteens as a youngster playing at Footscray in Melbourne, Treherne captained Victoria and spent time in the Aussie sevens development program.

But unable to “crack a start”, Treherne decided to move to Queensland 2016 to focus on fifteens. 

She was named for the Wallaroos and represented Australia at the 2017 World Cup, and after joining Griffith Uni in the Aon7s series, established herself as one of the top attacking threats in either format.

This year, as Australian womens rugby has grown rapidly with the Super W and double-header Test matches, Treherne has steadily ticked off all the boxes as a constant on all the team sheets.

“It actually feels like it this year, and just with the growth of Super W and then the Aon tournament and then the Wallaroos,” she said.

“To top the end of the year off with this is quite amazing.

“The Olympic medal, you admire the girls, who won that and you look up to them, even though your playing in Australian XVs, these girls are just next level elite players so to be a part of it is a huge privilege.”

Though missing star trio Emma Tonegato, Alicia Quirk and Emilee Cherry, Manenti has named a strong side for the opener in Colorado, which will be played on October 21 and 22 at Glendale.

The city sits at 1609m above sea level; around the same elevation as Johannesburg.

“Round one is going to be a challenge for every team as we commence the HSBC Sevens World Series and look to get our campaign off to a strong start,” Manenti said.

“The entire squad has been working really hard to make sure that we are getting every detail of our preparation right for round one and we are looking forward to playing Rugby again.”

1. Shannon Parry (C), 28 caps 
2. Sharni Williams (C), 24 caps 
3. Demi Hayes, 7 caps 
4. Dom Du Toit, 10 caps 
5. Samantha Treherne*
6. Evania Pelite, 18 caps 
7. Charlotte Caslick, 26 caps  
8. Yasmin Meakes, 3 caps 
9. Emma Sykes, 10 caps 
10. Page McGregor, 3 caps 
11. Cassandra Staples, 6 caps 
12. Ellia Green, 19 caps 
13th Lily Dick