Yesterday, a huge announcement was made that The University of Adelaide has been selected to represent South Australia in the inaugural National University Sevens Series. After receiving numerous high quality applications from across Australia, the final eight teams have been named.
Five states and territories will be represented in the competition, with the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania all to field teams. The Australia-wide spread of the universities reflects the growing demand for women’s Rugby Sevens across the country, especially following the gold medal efforts of the Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team at the Rio Olympics, which prompted a 33% increase in female club Sevens participation in 2016 (after a 33% increase in 2015).
The National University Sevens Series will involve four tournaments, with the first one scheduled to kick off in August. Members of the Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad will be divided up between the teams which will each comprise a mix of students and non-students (with 50% students being the squad minimum and no on-field quota to be employed).
The competition will fill a much needed gap in the national women’s Sevens pathway, offering the nation’s best up-and-coming talent the opportunity to train and play in a high performance environment to stake their claims for national selection.
The eight universities selected for the Series were subject to a rigorous selection process that considered what each applicant could offer the Series in terms of high performance programs and national community engagement, amongst other criteria.
The eight teams who will compete in the 2017 National University Sevens Series are:
- University of Canberra, ACT
- The University of Adelaide, SA
- University of Tasmania, TAS
- University of New England, NSW
- Macquarie University, NSW
- Bond University, QLD
- The University of Queensland, QLD
- Griffith University, QLD
Over the next couple of months, the University will be recruiting players for the team; the next Olympic medalist could be out there waiting to be found.
Alex Schreier and Tracy Stanis are just two of the Adelaide Uni students who will be vying for a place in the squad. Alex is a talented Touch Football player who has also played some 7s for local club Firebrand Rugby. Alex spoke with AU Sport and said: "This initiative has just given women another great opportunity to showcase their talent on the big stage. The success of the Australian Team at the recent Olympics has really given Rugby a boost in this state, and we hope to show that we can match it with the Eastern States."
Tracy plays locally with the Souths RFC in the 15 a-side comp and was named Best & Fairest in 2015. She also spoke with AU Sport and said: "It is amazing how quickly Rugby 7s has grown in recent time. With the success of the Australian Women's team, it has proven women's sport can rival the men's game. I am hopeful that girls from not only a rugby background, but Touch, AFL, Lacrosse, Hockey or even Netball can make the transition with this amazing opportunity that has been given to us."
If you are interested in representing the University of Adelaide in the competition, please fill out the form below. As a reminder, you do not have to be a University of Adelaide student to play.
Register Interest Here