Aussie regulars show Uni 7s talent the national benchmark: Manenti

Uni 7s
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

This year’s Aon Uni 7s Series threw up some national squad contenders but Aussie Women’s Sevens coach John Manenti it was just as beneficial for his regular players this time around.

Australia’s national squad played a bigger role in the series than ever before in 2019, with stars including Charlotte Caslick, Sharni Williams, Shannon Parry and Ellia Green all featuring in multiple legs.

A host of other squad members returned from injury through the four tournaments and Manenti said the star power across the board showed aspiring players their benchmark.

“It was really important (for us) to endorse what a great product Aon Uni 7s is and put our girls out there,” he said.

“I think it's important for the other teams to know I suppose the distance between where they are as individual players and where we're at.

“I was really happy with the football we got out of it, really happy with the increased standards across the boards, the new teams that have come in.

“Really excited for what goes next.”

Georgia Hannaway was named player of the series in the Uni 7s series this year. Photo: Karen WatsonUQ’s Georgia Hannaway was named player of the series and Manenti said she was very much on the national radar after a standout stint with the Uni 7s winners.

“Georgia Hannaway is definitely a standout, someone we've earmarked and we'll look at giving her some football with us in the near future but there's so many 16-year-olds I don't want to start naming them because I'll leave some out,’ he said.

“It's really exciting the amount of strong 16, 17-year-old girls that we've had come through this series and then some girls like (Bond University player) Emily Bass who was known to us but last year she had a shoulder injury, didn't play much.

“This year we've had a really strong indication of players like that who have put their hand up to say ,'We're here and ready when you need us'.”

Australia’s women will send a team to next weekend’s Oceania Sevens Championship but that competition will likely be used as a chance to build up the minutes of their fringe players.

The next World Series event is in Dubai in December 5-7, with the first Cape Town Sevens a week later as well, tournaments that will provide crucial preparation for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

“There's quite a few that will come into the picture for Oceania,” he said.

“We wanted them all to get good minutes here (in the Uni 7s) and then hopefully back it up with good minutes for Oceania and then we'll have some good selections to have for the double header in Cape Town and Dubai.”

DREAM TEAM

2019 Aon Uni 7s Series Dream Team

Georgia Hannaway – University of Queensland - (Player of the Series)

Kahli Henwood – Griffith University

Jasmin Joyce – University of Adelaide

Grace Hamilton – University of Sydney

Page McGregor – University of Melbourne

Rachel Crothers – University of Canberra

Emily Bass – Bond University