The Women’s Rugby Division at this weekend’s Hottest 7s in the World has the hallmarks of being one of the most keenly contested competitions in the tournaments history.
Brisbane based Tribe 7s have assembled a line-up boasting nine players who have played Rugby Sevens for Australia at senior or youth level.
There are two Walleroos, three dual internationals and a World Cup Winner.
The side will be led by former National Captain Rebecca Tavo and has been seeded first in the nine team competition.
Australia’s Women’s Sevens Coach Tim Walsh has released Nikki Etheridge, Mollie Gray, Brooke Walker and Rachel Crothers who will train with the side tomorrow morning and Walsh revealed that he has set each player their own personal objectives.
“There aren’t many tournaments in Australia that offer the quality of competition for Women’s Sevens players that the Darwin event does,” said Walsh. “It’s an established tournament where our four players will be playing for a side that we know will be well-coached and looked after.”
He added: “This is an invaluable opportunity for Nikki, Mollie, Brooke and Rachel to get some game time under their belts. They’re playing in a strong team and I have set high standards for them – I’ll be going through their performances personally with them upon their return to HQ in Sydney next week.
The primary challenger to Tribes 7 title aspirations is expected to come from the Country King Browns.
Playing in their first tournament the Country King Brown’s squad is a mix of high calibre Territorians and National Representatives.
A local quintet of Bo de la Cruz, Lateesha Jeffrey, Lauren Motlop, Jaylene Chevalier and Crystal Atteborough will provide the nucleus of a potent attacking outfit.
Also Included in the squad are Cobie-Jane Morgan and Hannah Sio who have both represented Australia in Rugby 7s.
The presence of the Melbourne City Silverbacks, Far North Queensland and Sydney University will ensure the Pool stage is competitive.
Sydney University were the Sydney Women’s Rugby Union Minor Premier in the 15-a-side version of the game last year.
The unknown quantity will be the Singapore National side.
Ranked 7th in Asia the girls from the Lion City looked fairly sharp when training for the first time at Rugby Park yesterday.
The Northern Territory will field three teams in the Competition with the NT Goannas joined by South Darwin and University.
The Goannas side to be captained by Claire Rowat includes three players who will represent the Northern Territory at the National Youth Championships next month.
Brielle Felton, Ebony McCoombes and Shaylah Barba earned their selection after impressing selectors at the recent NT Schoolgirls Championships.
Nathalia Wauchope and Danielle Smith will bring plenty of big match experience to the side.
The NT Goannas will play Singapore in a non-contact trial at Rugby Park tonight followed by a Men’s match between the Country King Browns and Singapore Men’s Teams.The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.