The next generation of female rugby stars


By NSW Rugby Media Unit

The next generation of female rugby stars have been put through their paces as part of a NSW Rugby Girls Development Squad – the first of its kind for NSW.

Designed to attract, develop and progress our best young prospects, the pilot program has enabled 90 young women an opportunity to take their game to the next level.

Based across three zones (Western, Northern and South East), the Squad completed one-two training sessions each week where they worked with coaching staff, as well as strength and conditioning staff, to develop the core rugby and key athletic qualities required by the game.

Rugby legends David Campese and Matt Burke also made guest appearances throughout the program.

The girls were selected from key events over a four-week period to participate in the seven-week pilot program, aimed to enable the girls to feel confident to progress to higher level honours and ultimately reach the international levels of XV and 7s rugby.

Elite Program Coordinator Nath McMahon said the feedback he received about the program is positive, and he is now looking to where he can take the program next.

“The feedback from parents was that they saw their daughters’ confidence improve over the seven-week program, they feel stronger and more confident in their abilities,” McMahon said.

“Not only were we able to play a part in developing strong rugby players but also developing them as people,” he said.

16-year old Leilani Wilson has been playing rugby for two years and said she cherished the chance to develop throughout the program.

“It was great to get the opportunity to excel under the NSW Waratahs staff and getting to know what the training environment is like at that top level,” Wilson said.

Tia Hinds from Randwick Rugby said the biggest change for her had been the increase in preparation time before the Nationals 7s tournament.

“In previous years we haven’t been able to get the team together before Nationals, so it’s good that now because of this squad I get to work with the girls more leading up to Nationals,” Hinds said.

Super W players Arabella McKenzie and Tisera Volkman joined the South East group for their final session.

McKenzie said it is great to see a genuine pathway exists for girls now, not only in XVs but also 7s.

“It’s extremely important to get the best young female players in Sydney training together and it’s also good to see the NSW Waratahs are backing the girls’ game off the back of some successful Super W seasons,” McKenzie said.

The Girls Development program ran as a pilot in 2019, and McMahon said the ultimate aim would be to grow the 90-participation total in the first year to 250 girls across the state in 2020.

Northern Zone

Alice Clark
Ally Bullman
Amy Patrick
Andie Kearns
Anjali Mence
Brearna Nathan
Casey Jackson
Charlotte Goldman
Edie Burke
Harriet Barnett
Isabel Gosper
Jamie Studdy
Kalospani Hopoate
Kate Barry
Kiiahla Duff
Lily Marsters
Maddie Binding
Madison Swan
Maya Harris
Mia Campbell
Millie Durdevic
Oli Wood
Paris Ingegneri
Pia Jackson
Ruby Nicholas
Sara Ryan
Shabar Thomas
Shakira Tyson
Sofia Saroukas
Summer Hall
Susannah Coady
Toa Taufa

Western Zone

Adi Melaia Grace Tokabobo
Ameena Kanj
Breeze E’e
Cassey Tohi-Hiku
Courageous Afoa
Erana Reti
Faith Nimmo
Fatafehi Hanisi
Georgia Edwards
Haylee Hifo
Jessika Lealaiauloto
Kamilia Moe
Katie Edwards
Katrina Raravula
Litia Fusi
Luisa Yaranamua
Madeleine Sora
Monica Fasavalu-Fa’amausili
Nina Solofa
Phoenix Lamese
Raukura Maika
Rayven-Jodeci Boyce
Rysh’e Fasavalu-Fa’amausili
Tyla Amiatu
Vani Sorovi

South East Zone

Aeisha Fong
Ally Weiru
Andie Robinson
Anika Wrigley
Anneka Wilson
Bienne Terita
Brielle Riding
Bronti Westaway
Charlotte Mackay
Elizabeth Lomu
Ella Barker
Esther Kautoga
Hannah Ulcoq
Imogen Breen
Jada Taylor
Jesse Southwell
Joiful Fotu-Moala
Kiara Sutton
Latisaj Smythe
Leilani Fauonuku
Leilani Wilson
Madison McArthur
Maliyah Osbaldiston
Matilda Aveyard
Nancy Volkman
Shanikua Rogers
Shannon Sua
Sophia Griffin
Taleyah Hippi-Laurie
Tegan Dymock
Teina Tawhara
Tia Hinds
Tyra Mcrae
Zali Hopkins






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