A confident Griffith University squad has travelled to Tasmania for the opening game of the inaugural Women’s Aon Uni 7s Series. Griffith face University of Adelaide in Friday’s opener with kick-off at 2pm, in a game which will be livestreamed by the Australian Rugby Union.
Australian Sevens Rugby recruit Demi Hayes will link up with the Griffith team for the weekend, but another elite star Shannon Parry will be absent due to her Wallaroos commitments in Ireland where she helped Australia qualify for the 2021 World Cup before injury interrupted her tournament.
Griffith will also be without Bachelor of Sport Development student Ashleigh Cooksley who picked up an injury after she was originally named among six current students in the travelling squad.
Lauren Brown (B. Sport Management), Taylor-Adeline Mapusua (B. Popular Music), Laura Waldie (B. Dentistry), Katie Curtis (B. Education) and double degree student Eliza Flynn (B. Exercise Science, B. Psychological Science) are the other students making history this weekend.
They will be joined by Alana Elisaia, Alysia Lefau-Fakosilea, Phoebe Thomas, Katie Brock, Ivania Wong and Eseta Aho Fangaloka from Sunnybank Rugby.
The Griffith squad has been developed in partnership with Griffith Uni Colleges Knights Rugby Club and Sunnybank Rugby Union Club.
“We have brought together our own ‘super team’ that I’m sure will do themselves and Griffith University proud this weekend,” Duncan Free OAM, Director, Griffith Sports College, said.
“With the kick-off upon us, I’d like to thank the players for their commitment and application during the past few months. It was very difficult to cut our original squad of 26 back to 12 for the opening weekend, such was the competition for places.
“I’d also like to highlight the contribution of our super coach Moana Virtue and the work behind the scenes of two Griffith sport development students, Shannon Matheson and Teysha Deal, who have had key roles as manager and assistant manager.”
Friday sees the kick-off of the first of four tournaments involving teams from University of Canberra, University of Adelaide, University of Tasmania, University of New England, Macquarie University, Bond University and University of Queensland.
Griffith will also face hosts University of Tasmania (4.20pm) and Macquarie University (6pm) on Friday.
Griffith Squad: Demi Hayes, Lauren Brown, Taylor-Adeline Mapusua, Laura Waldie, Katie Curtis, Eliza Flynn, Alana Elisaia, Alysia Lefau-Fakosilea, Phoebe Thomas, Katie Brock, Ivania Wong, Eseta Aho Fangaloka.