From Thursday 4 October through to Sunday 7 October Bond University will be hosting a ‘Festival of Rugby’ with the Queensland Rugby Union Junior Girls 7s State Championships, the Bond University leg of the Aon Uni Sevens and the National Rugby Championship (NRC) match between Queensland Country and the Sydney Rays all taking place at Bond University Rugby Club on the Gold Coast.
The Girls 7s State Championships will run across Thursday and Friday (9am to 5pm), the NRC clash between Country and the Rays will kick-off at 3:00pm on Saturday, while the Uni Sevens tournament will run across Saturday (9am to 7pm).and Sunday (9am to 3pm).
Gold Coast looking to go back-to-back in Junior Girls 7s
Almost 200 up-and-coming young female rugby players, aged 14 to 17 years, from across Queensland will descend on Bond University for the Junior Girls 7s State Championships. This is just the second year of the Championships, with Gold Coast the defending premiers in both age groups (U15s and U17s).
QRU’s Sevens High Performance Manager, Lachlan Parkinson said Queensland had an excellent reputation for producing and nurturing young female rugby talent.
“Thanks to the investment of Queensland Rugby and support of the QAS in the Women’s Sevens academy, we’ve had an established pathway for women’s sevens in Queensland now for a number of years, with players like Demi Hayes and Emma Sykes going on to star at the World Series and Commonwealth Games,” he said.
"Being able to play in a high performance environment like Bond with world-class facilities is brilliant for the girls."
Piper Flynn from the Gold Coast U15s squad, who aspires to one day play at the same level as her role model Charlotte Caslick, said she was really looking forward to this weekend’s tournament.
“There’s so much talent here on the Gold Coast and a lot coming here to compete this weekend – it’s going to be really exciting to watch and be part of it,” she said. “We’re looking to defend our title and hopefully come away with another win this year.”
Queensland Country to leverage home ground advantage for strong finish
Bond University Rugby Club will be cheering hard for its homegrown NRC talent this weekend, as Harry Nucifora, Angus Blyth and Hamish Stewart take to the field for Queensland Country’s match against the Sydney Rays.
Nucifora said Saturday’s match presented an exciting opportunity for him and the squad.
“We’re still a good chance of finals so we have to put in a major effort in the remaining two matches,” he said. “Despite coming off two tough losses in recent weeks, the desire to win is definitely there.”
“I got my first taste of NRC for the season just last week. I’ve played with a lot of these boys at school and club rugby and to be back playing with them is a great feeling.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the new clubhouse and seeing as many friends and families of the NRC and AON women’s sides out here at Bond for what will be a great weekend of rugby.”
Consistency key for Bond University Women’s 7s on home turf
Head Coach Ben Gollings said he was thrilled for his team to be playing in front of a home crowd at this weekend’s fourth tournament of the Aon Uni 7s Series at Bond University Rugby Club.
“We’ve been looking forward to our home tournament all season - playing in front of family and friends and showcasing what we have to offer here at Bond and on the Gold Coast over four great days of rugby,” Gollings said.
Bond’s Irish national import, Eve Higgins said the squad was hoping for an improved performance at this weekend’s home ground tournament.
“We started strongly beating Canberra on the first day of the last tournament, then fell off, before finishing brilliantly beating Melbourne 41-0 in our final match,” she said.
“This round we want to be consistently good at continually winning games throughout both days with a strong start and hopefully finishing on top.
“The Aon series is very good, and great quality. You just wouldn’t see this quality of university 7s in Ireland right at the moment, so it’s great to be part of it here in Australia.
“I’d encourage local fans to come on down to support rugby, and women’s rugby especially across the four-day festival at Bond. It’s not every day there’s this much rugby being played on your door step – so come on down and check it out.
“Some of the girls and I live just up the road so we’re keen to come down for the Junior State Championships to see some of the younger girls play – girls who will hopefully be in the Aon series next year and the years after that – and of course also seeing some guys playing rugby too.”
Bond University’s squad for Round Four of the Aon Uni Sevens Series this weekend is:
Jessika Elliston ©
Bond University will play Griffith University, University of Sydney, University of Canberra and University of Tasmania in Pool A this weekend.
Now in its second year, the newly-expanded tournament will feature 10 universities from around Australia in a five-leg series. Bond is very proud to be hosting Round 4 at its Gold Coast campus on 6-7 October.
Bond University, University of Queensland, Griffith University, University of New England, Macquarie University, University of Canberra, Adelaide University and tournament newcomers the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney.
2018 Aon University Sevens Series
Round 1 August 25-26, University of Tasmania, Hobart
Round 2 September 8-9, University of Canberra, Canberra
Round 3 September 22-23, University of Queensland, Brisbane
Round 4 October 6-7, Bond University, Gold Coast
Round 5 October 20-21, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide