Inaugural Youth Women’s Rugby Sevens squad announced for 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival

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The first Youth Women’s Rugby Sevens squad of 12 has been named for next year’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney.

The squad includes players from NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory aged between 16 and 17 years of age.

The majority of the players selected have enjoyed previous representative honours for State and National Sporting Teams, including Oz Tag, Touch Football and Athletics.

The inaugural Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens Youth side will be coached by National Women’s Sevens Coach, Chris Lane, while National Rugby Sevens Coordinator, Tim Walsh will be the squad’s Manager.

Held every four years, the sixth edition of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival will be in Sydney from 16-20 January 2013 and, for the first time, includes the 2016 Olympic sport of Rugby Sevens amongst a program of 17 sports.

The seven-a-side game is full of exciting action and provides a suitable alternative for male and females of all ages wanting to try their hand at Rugby.

The inclusion of the game of Rugby Sevens in the AYOF and Olympics has increased the significance of the Rugby Sevens program, providing up and coming Rugby talent with the opportunity to join the pathway to Olympic gold.

Australian Rugby Union’s High Performance Unit General Manager, David Nucifora said the advent of Rugby Sevens as an Olympic sport has provided a new and achievable pathway for female athletes to represent Australia at the Olympics.

“The inclusion of Rugby Sevens on the Olympic program has seen a lot of countries expand the development pathways of the sport among young men and women,” Nucifora said.

“We’ve seen with the selection of this squad that Rugby is exponentially popular among young women in Australia.
“This Youth Olympic Festival team is a perfect example of that, with five states represented, including Northern Territory and South Australia which are not typically strong Rugby regions.

“This tournament is just another step in the development of our athletes and an example of the exciting opportunities available to Rugby players following the Olympic announcement.

“ARU would like to thank Perth Outdoor Blinds for its continued support of our programs.

“The Australian Youth Olympic Festival is a great opportunity for our young athletes and will only further their development.”

Rugby Sevens at the AYOF will take place at St Ignatius College, Riverview on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 January 2013 where both the Australian Youth Men’s and Women’s will compete.

Approximately 2,300 athletes and officials across 30 nations are expected to be involved in the 2013 AYOF, with the Opening Ceremony to take place on Wednesday 16 January.