RIO Olympic gold medal winner Chloe Dalton and up and comer Dominique Du Toit will play for the Macquarie Uni Sydney Rays in the AON Uni 7s series which kicks off in August.
Dalton and Du Toit are amongst 13 national squad members who have been allocated to the right teams that will play in the four tournament series.
The allocations include the stars of Australia’s gold medal charge in Rio, including stars such as Charlotte Caslick, Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Emilee Cherry, Alicia Quirk, Chloe Dalton and Evania Pelite.
Dalton (pictured above) was key member of the gold medal winning squad in Rio while Du Toit is one of the brightest prospects on the international women’s circuit at the moment.
The Aon Uni 7s Series will include four two-day tournaments at the University of Tasmania, Launceston (25-26 August), Macquarie University, Sydney (9-10 September), University of Queensland, Brisbane (16-17 September) and Bond University, Gold Coast (29-30 September).
Australian Women’s Sevens Co-Captain, Shannon Parry said: “To go from training and playing alongside my Aussie Sevens team mates, to competing against them will be really tough, but we’re all up for the challenge.”
“With us all spread out amongst the teams, we’ll be able to share our knowledge and experience with the next generation of players, which is a great opportunity for them and us,” she said.
“It’s our chance to inspire the younger girls, and knowing the competitive spirit of my team mates, all of us will be playing to win.”
Head Coach Tim Walsh said he hoped the national competition lured athletes from other sports, as he looks to build a strong squad in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“This competition is a really exciting step forward for Women’s Rugby Sevens. Players and coaches will have the opportunity to build combinations and strategies over four tournaments and on a national stage where all the Australian scouts will be watching,” he said.
“Most of our Olympic champions started out in other sports, so I strongly encourage athletes from any sport to get involved with the competition. If you want to be a Rugby Sevens Olympian in 2020, you need to start that journey now.
“We are looking to add some athletes with a real point of difference to our squad and we can’t wait to unearth some new talent.”
ARU General Manager High Performance, Ben Whitaker said: “This competition is a great addition to our Rugby Sevens pathway.
“With eight teams competing from around the country we have a solid national footprint and we already have had enquiries from other universities around the country about expanding the competition next year.
“The competition has been scheduled so that there’s no overlap with the HSBC Sevens Series so we expect it to attract interest from overseas, with the possibility for international Sevens players to compete in the future.
“We want this to be the best university-based Women’s Rugby Sevens competition in the world, and with the women’s university rugby scene already thriving in the US and Canada, we know we have a great opportunity to make this happen.”
The tournament kicks off in August, with the match format to emulate the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series.
University of New England, NSW – Alicia Quirk and Hannah Southwell
Macquarie University, NSW – Dominique Du Toit and Chloe Dalton
University of Tasmania, TAS – Ellia Green, Georgie Friedrichs and Shanice Parker
University of Adelaide, SA – Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite and Mahalia Murphy
University of Canberra, UC – Sharni Williams and Brooke Anderson
Griffith University, QLD – Shannon Parry and Demi Hayes
Bond University, QLD – Charlotte Caslick and Brooke Walker
University of Queensland, QLD – Emilee Cherry and Emma Sykes
University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston, 25-26 August
Macquarie University fields, Sydney, 9-10 September
University of Queensland fields, Brisbane, 16-17 September
Bond University fields, Gold Coast, 29-30 September