Griffith welcomes the addition of Australian 7s squad member and current Griffith University student Demi Hayes following the announcement of Aussie squad player allocations to the Uni 7s.
Hayes returns to the fold with fellow Australian team mates Lily Dick and Samantha Treherne, who were part of the 2018 Griffith 7s squad before being elevated to full time contracts.
She was also a member of the inaugural Griffith University Aon squad in 2017.
While Hayes was absent from the 2018 Aon series with injury, she is looking forward to a return to domestic competition with a wealth of international experience, having competed in world series, Rugby 7s World Cup and Commonwealth Games in the past year.
“Domestic game time is something we don’t get very often other than Sydney 7s once a year,” Hayes said.
“This gives us the opportunity to play four tournaments in Australia with and against new upcoming players.
“The professionalism of the Australian 7s program is something that has definitely helped me when I return to playing for my state or university.”
Rugby Australia’s General Manager of High Performance, Ben Whitaker told rugby.com.au that the Aon Uni 7s was a crucial step on the women’s rugby pathway.
“We have seen the immensely positive effect it has had on our Aussie 7s program over the first two seasons,” he said.
“The competition amongst players and teams is fierce and our overall depth has greatly improved, with several players making the transition to the world series.”
Since moving to Sydney on a full-time contract, Hayes has still maintained her studies externally, juggling a Bachelor of Communications and Media with the requirements of also being a professional athlete, with the assistance of Griffith Sports College.
“It has taken a little while to get the hang of training full-time and studying part-time but having my degree completely online and easy to access makes like so much easier,” she said.
“Each week I just allocate a certain number of hours to looking over my learning material and studying gives me a pathway once my sporting career has finished.
“Griffith allows me have a schedule where I can be motivated to keep learning and finish my degree.”