Australia’s next generation of Rugby Sevens talent have begun their campaign ahead of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in the Bahamas from July 19-23.
The 31 Girl Squad includes Palmerston’s Latoniya Norris who is one of five 15 year olds who have the opportunity of attending three intense training camps before final selection.
The Australian side will be looking to defend their predecessors' Gold Medal from the tournament held in Samoa in 2015 that proved to be a springboard into the senior program for Dominique Du Toit, Hannah Southwell, Demi Hayes and Shanice Parker.
The squad includes 12 New South Wales players, nine Queenslanders, four from Western Australia, three from the ACT and a representative from the Northern Territory, South Australia and National Indigenous team respectively.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “Previous Youth Games tournament graduates include Gold medallists Charlotte Caslick and Evania Pelite, and half of the current squad progressed through this pathway.
"This is a great opportunity for aspiring young women to develop and enhance their abilities as Rugby Sevens players and push for selection in the Commonwealth Youth Games.
“To see the young talent coming through the Rugby Sevens pathway and with the Aon National University Sevens Series launching this year, this really is an inspiring time for Women’s Rugby Sevens players and supporters in Australia.
“We will be observing and challenging all the squad members in their upcoming training camps and want them to enjoy the experience of this wonderful game.”
The young Women's side was selected following National Youth Sevens Championship in December 2016, that was won by the Queensland Reds Girls.
The wider squad will have three training camps, before a final squad of 12 will be selected to head to the Caribbean to represent Australia in July.
Latoniya still has the opportunity to represent the Northern Territory at two more National Youth 7s Championships and is likely to be seriously considered for selection in the open age NT Goannas side.
The Team is to be coached by former NT Rugby Union Development Manager Dale Roberson Australian Youth Commonwealth Games 2017 Wider Squad:
Georgia Hannaway (State: QLD, DOB: 28/12/00)
Lily Dick (State: QLD, DOB: 26/12/99)
Alysia Lefau–Fakosilea (State: QLD, DOB: 5/11/00)
Meg Gemmell (State: QLD, DOB: 18/6/99)
Kobe Nona (State: QLD, DOB: 18/2/99)
Terri Anne Egan (State: QLD, DOB: 28/4/00)
Ngaupoko Sabine Marsters (State: QLD, DOB: 10/11/00)
Rebecca Goulding (State: QLD, DOB: 30/03/99)
Veteronnica Tafito (State: QLD, DOB: 10/02/00)
Hannah Southwell (State: NSW, DOB: 4/3/99)
Page McGregor (State: NSW, DOB: 11/3/99)
Brydie Parker (State: NSW, DOB: 25/10/99)
Abby Holmes (State: NSW, DOB: 14/10/00)
Arabella McKenzie (State: NSW, DOB: 1/03/99)
Rikeya Horne (State: NSW, DOB: 14/9/99)
Sariah Paki (State: NSW, DOB: 12/10/01)
Jakiya Whitfeld (State: NSW, DOB: 11/06/01)
Emma Bradford (State: NSW, DOB: 29/01/01)
Mia Woods (State: NSW, DOB: 16/02/99)
Layne Morgan (State: NSW, DOB: 20/04/99)
Maddison Ashby (State: NSW, DOB: 22/01/01)
Courtney Hodder (State: WA, DOB:08/07/00)
Kennedy Cherrington (State: WA, DOB: 05/01/99)
Turiti Galiki (State: WA, DOB: 06/01/00)
Langley Sasaga (State: WA, DOB: 09/04/00)
Lily Rose-Bennett (State: ACT, DOB: 10/08/00)
Sophie Quirk (State: ACT, DOB: 22/09/99)
Piper Duck (State: ACT, DOB: 02/04/01)
Rhiannon Revell-Blair (National Indigenous Team, DOB: 23/03/01)
Latoniya Norris (State: NT, DOB: 18/03/01)
Leah Phillips (State: SA, DOB: 11/11/99)
Head Coach: Dale Roberson (Australian Sevens)
Assistant Coach: Lachlan Parkinson (Queensland Rugby Union)
Photo Credit: Andrew Mayberry