Griffith business student Lauren Brown is this week training with the elite Australian women’s rugby sevens after getting the call to link up with the elite squad.
The 21-year-old from the Gold Coast will also be part of the Australian Development team that travels to Japan for an invitational tournament next week.
The national breakthrough capped off a top week for Lauren’s rugby sevens ambitions after the ARU named Griffith University among eight teams who will compete for the inaugural National University Sevens Series later in 2017.
“I don’t want to get too ahead of myself but it’s a fantastic opportunity,” she said.
“It’s a great chance to see what they do, how they train and just get an insight into that level.”
She is likely to be among the Griffith students who will make up 50% of the squad to compete in the University Sevens series starting in August. The other 50% will be made up with players from outside the student body including two stars from the Olympic-winning Pearls team.
“The popularity of women’s sevens rugby has just boomed in Queensland since Rio,” Lauren said.
“This series will be a great platform at uni level for players to get a taste of what it’s like at the elite level.”
Her sporting progress and prowess can be tracked back to an appetite for sport which saw her playing touch and soccer at an early stage. She was invited to try sevens rugby at a Queensland Reds session and immediately fell in love with the sport.
“For me, there was something missing with touch and the moment I gave rugby a go I was excited by the speed and the various skills required to play the game,” Lauren, who plays in the first receiver position, said.
“There is also a massive difference between rugby sevens and 15-a-side rugby. They are pretty much different sports, both unique in their own way.”
Crucially, Lauren’s climb to the edge of the national ranks has been supported by Griffith Sport College.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the Sports College. They have been so helpful with moving assignments and exams and fitting timetables around my sports schedule.”