THE Macquarie Uni Sydney Rays have appointed the vastly experienced Nathan McMahon to head up their women’s sevens program that will field a team in the AON University Sevens Series which will kick off in August.
McMahon is the current NSW Women’s Sevens coach and will kick start preparations for the tournament based series in coming weeks with two Talent ID sessions to be held at Macquarie University on the 14th and 21st May.
The 34-year-old came through the development pathway at Randwick, first as a player and then as a coach.
In his 200-game playing career (1999-2012) at the Wicks he is lucky to have been coached by such luminaries as Glen Ella, Alan Gaffney and current Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.
A neck injury in 2012 saw him move into coaching and he immediately took to the demanding role.
McMahon’s first involvement with women’s sevens was in 2010 when he helped the Samurai Sevens at the Gold Coast Sevens.
In 2013 he took on a role with the NSW Blue Belles and in 2014 became the head coach of the NSW program.
In this time Nathan has set up the state wide program for the Blue Belles with six satellite training squads up and running and over 150 girls in the program of Senior Belles, Junior Belles and Baby Belles.
This program is completely run by volunteers and is the driving force for NSW, the leading women’s program in Australia for Sevens.
Chairman Gary Flowers said the women’s sevens program was a vital part of the Sydney Rays evolution.
“We made some major strides with our men’s team in the Buildcorp National Rugby Championships last year and kick starting the women’s sevens program will be another asset,” Flowers said.
“Nathan’s appointment is the start of putting a good coaching and management infrastructure around the women as they ready themselves for their first tournament in August.”
The women’s side will play in four tournaments starting in August with one of these being staged at Macquarie University in conjunction with a Rays’ NRC game.
McMahon said the Sydney Rays move into women’s sevens was a great opportunity for not only him but the untapped talent out there that has been attracted to the game in the wake of the Rio Olympics.
“We are in a unique position being the only university in the Sydney catchment area with a team in this competition,” McMahon said.
“But in saying that we certainly welcome with open arms girls outside the city catchment area that want to be a part of this program.
“In coming weeks we will be announcing the staff who will be assisting with the program. We will also be hosting a couple of talent ID days for any university students out there wanting to try rugby Sevens, who knows – you could be the next Olympian!
“The program is going to be based around opportunities, development and a fun environment in which to learn a great game.”
The eight teams who will compete in the 2017 AON National University Sevens Series are:
1. University of Canberra, ACT
2. University of Adelaide, SA
3. University of Tasmania, TAS
4. University of New England, NSW
5. Macquarie University, NSW
6. Bond University, QLD
7. University of Queensland, QLD
8. Griffith University, QLD