Coaching staff have had plenty of headaches but have finally selected the touring team to partake in the first round of the 2019 Aon UNI7s series this weekend at University of Queensland, St Lucia. Head Coach James O'Keefe and Assistant Coach Troy Doughty have picked what they believe to be the “best available”, as the first round clashes with local rugby union grand finals.
The team will head out to Brisbane this Friday as they look to settle in to camp before the first round of the series this Saturday. The Roma’s have drawn the short straw on the first day with a total of four pool matches, which will test the fitness and resolve of the group. However on the bright side they will have a late start on the Sunday morning as they head into the semi finals.
“We’ve had solid preparation for the 2019 series, playing a number of matches against various opposition", says James. "We’ve planned and trained for 4 games on day one and in addition to that we have been playing 8 to 10 minute halves to really condition the girls to the unpredictable nature of rugby sevens”.
Round 1 Match Times
The University of Queensland, St Lucia
9:20am v University of Melbourne
11:20am v University of Sydney
1:20pm v Bond University
3:20pm v Griffith University
The inclusion of Australian Sevens representatives Vani Pelite and Mahalia Murphy for the first round will provided another boost prior to the series, as all the Aussie 7s contracted group have been distributed out the 10 participating universities.
“Vani Pelite is up there with some of the best players in World Rugby and isn’t just a talent athlete but a amazing individual. In 2017, we had Vani throughout the series and the knowledge the passed to both players and staff was priceless, we know that 2019 will be no different.”
“Mahalia (Murphy) will be back for her third year with the Roma’s as she is fresh from her Australian duties with the Wallaroo’s in their four match test series against Japan and New Zealand, and she’ll be sure to make her impact felt”.
Assistant Coach Troy Doughty had nothing but praise for the 2019 playing group saying, “we drew nothing but positives out of the Melbourne and Sydney tours which allowed us to trial plenty of combinations, trying to strike up some effective connections in set and general play. I’m looking forward to seeing our 2018 best and fairest Lauren Potter getting back on the field, alongside debutant d’Arcy Sadler who is making a long awaited return to top flight rugby”.
The 2019 University of Adelaide Roma’s team for round 1 is full to the brim with talent boasting, two Rio Olympians, four Commonwealth Games Athletes, four Rugby World Cup Players, two former Australian 7s players, three Australian development players and a range of South Australian talent from a multitude of sports.
You can follow all the action on the live stream via www.rugby.com.au.
The University of Adelaide Roma’s
Aon Universities Sevens Series
Round 1 – University of Queensland, St Lucia
14th and 15th September 2019.
Head Coach. James O’Keefe
Assistant Coach/Manager. Troy Doughty
Physiotherapist. Lauren Sebastiani - SmartHealth Training