NATIONAL SEVENS CHAMPIONSHIPS TO KICK OFF WITH BOYS AND GIRLS YOUTH EVENTS

Feb 23 • Australia, General News, Sevens Rugby • 1632 Views • Comments Off on NATIONAL SEVENS CHAMPIONSHIPS TO KICK OFF WITH BOYS AND GIRLS YOUTH EVENTS

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The headquarters of the Australian Rugby Sevens program will become home to some of the best emerging talent the country has to offer when the National Sevens Championships begin this weekend in Narrabeen, Sydney.

Taking place at the Sydney Academy of Sport under the watchful eye of national Men’s and Women’s Head Coaches Geraint John and Tim Walsh, the Youth Boys and Youth Girls tournaments kick off on Saturday, 28 February with Finals Day on Sunday, 1 March.

Nine teams will take part in the Boys Tournament and 10 in the Girls event, with player performance over the weekend playing an integral part in the selection process for the 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa in September.

The Championships will also be important in identifying talent for future Rugby Sevens development programs.

New South Wales Youth Boys manager Gerard McLenaghan said: “The boys are really excited to put months of hard work in training into a match situation. We have three 15-year-olds in our squad so we’ll go in there with one of the youngest squads but we have prepared well.

“For a lot of the players, it will be their first national tournament and a great opportunity to play against the best players in the country and allow them to put their hands up potentially for Youth Commonwealth Games selection.

“James Tautaiolefua from Ingleburn is a very talented 15-year-old winger who we feel has the potential to go all the way and represent Australia in the future. James has a background in rugby league and basketball and has an amazing turn of speed and a lethal step. If we can get the ball to him in space I think he’ll cause a bit of damage.”

Dominique Du Toit, one of three Queensland Red players who won Gold at last year’s Youth Olympics in Nanjing, said: “It’s going to be awesome turning out for my state. I haven’t played with a lot of the girls for quite some time but I think we have a skilful side and can definitely do well in the tournament.

“For me personally, playing against girls my own age, it is an opportunity for me to be a bit more physical, something which I am keen to improve. I’m looking forward to it.”

Australian Director of Rugby Sevens Geraint John said: “I am looking forward to observing and watching this tournament which is important for the future of the Sevens program. Some of the players in action could very well be playing at the Youth Commonwealth Games and future Olympic Games which is exciting.

“A big thanks to all the staff for attending and supporting this program and competition and for giving their time to support and help the players.”

The ARU’s Sevens talent development and national teams program is valuably supported by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association’s (ACGA) 2015 NextGEN AUSComGames Squad program – assisting the next generation of national Rugby Sevens stars to attend and achieve at the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Championship Draw:

Youth Boys (16-18 years)
Pool A: New South Wales Blue, National Indigenous, Western Australia, Queensland White, Victoria
Pool B: Queensland Red, ACT, New South Wales White, Northern Territory

Youth Girls (16-18 years)
Pool A: Queensland Red, ACT, New South Wales White, South Australia, Northern Territory
Pool B: New South Wales Blue, National Indigenous, Western Australia, Queensland White, Victoria

Rights-free images from Day 2 (Finals Day) at the Boys and Girls National Sevens Championships will be available upon request.

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