THE Macquarie Uni Sydney Rays have kept an eye on the future in the naming of their squad for the Brisbane International Women’s Super 7s tournament this weekend in Brisbane.
Rays head coach Nathan McMahon will look to up and comers Arabella McKenzie, Layne Morgan, Sarah Halverson and Olivia Brooks to step up to the mark against a raft of international teams.
Those four played a key role in the buoyant first season the Rays had in the Aon Uni 7s series where they finished with the bronze medal and came the closest of any side to knocking over Uni of Queensland.
UQ went through the inaugural series undefeated and boasted numerous Aussies squad members.
“Bella, Layne, Sarah and Olivia came on really well through the Aon series but this weekend we are looking to them to play a major role and lead the team around,” McMahon said.
“This tournament is a great opportunity for them and from what I have been seeing on there training field they are ready to step up and get a job done.
Not that that is going to be easy as the Brisbane tournament will feature teams from USA, Papua New Guinea, England, Spain, France, South Africa, Sweden, Poland, Wales, Fiji and Japan as well as a development squad from the Aussie women’s squad.
McMahon has also brought in the emerging youngster Kennedy Cherrington who was attached to the University of New England in the Aon 7s series.
Cherrington is one of a number of young talents on the sevens scene at the moment and has relocated to Sydney to further her sporting ambitions.
Also in the group is the 42-year-old veteran Selena Tranter, who McMahon believes will give his squad an edge in experience and physicality.
Tranter is Brisbane based and played in the national side that won the Rugby World Cup sevens tournament in Dubai in 2009.
She is a mother of two and has played for the Queensland rugby league side in a number of State of Origin games against NSW as well as turning out for the NRL All Stars.
Tranter is now deeply involved in the development of women’s sevens on the Gold Coast and will be a huge asset over the weekend.
The squad will travel to Queensland late on Thursday and have a final hitout before a walk through on Friday and the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
The squad also prepared by taking on the New Zeland national team in a number of trials in the lead in to the Sydney Sevens last weekend.
The squad for Brisbane:
Donnay Van Taak
Coach: Nathan McMahon
Manager: Erin Morton
Physio: Jarred Rangihuna
S&C: Tim Rowland
Logistics: Ryan Turkington