University of Canberra women’s rugby sevens coach David Grimmond has selected the 12-woman squad to contest the first tournament of the inaugural AON Women’s Uni 7s Series this weekend.
Brumbies sevens player, Goulburn High teacher, Ash Kara will captain the side at the series-opening event in Launceston, which kicks off on Friday and continues through Saturday.
Kara will be joined by Australian Pearls’ representative Cassie Staples and a host of local stars as the University of Canberra looks to make its mark on the national stage.
Grimmond said the squad possessed the necessary experience to go deep into the first tournament.
“We’ve got a strong team to contest the opening tournament,” Grimmond said.
“The side we’ve selected oozes experience and talent. Most of the women boast extensive sevens experience as well as having spent considerable time around the 15-a-side game.
“We have a wider training squad of 22 women and competition for a place in the Launceston squad was tough. The girls have been training really well and there was a lot of hunger there to make the final 12.”
Kara, the daughter of former Waikato Chiefs player Kevin Kara, brings to her role as captain 17 years of rugby experience.
The 29-year-old started her career with the Goulburn Fizzy Reds under-12s side and has gone on to forge a successful career to date.
Kara has represented the Brumbies women’s 15s side since 2014, has played for the Brumbies women’s sevens team, and is currently part of the leadership group for the Vi-Queens in Canberra’s women’s rugby union competition.
She is also an accomplished touch football player, having represented the ACT since 2004. In 2017, she was named in the Australian 27s squad.
Grimmond said Kara was a proven leader and he has no doubt she will motivate the side in Launceston.
“We’ve got a natural leader in Ash Kara,” he said. “Her appointment was a no-brainer. She knows the game and the squad really well and we’re confident she’ll lead from the front this weekend.
“She had a great year with the Vi-Queens in the local competition and she’s eager impress on the national stage.”
Kara said she was looking forward to running out for the University of Canberra.
“It’s a great honour to be named captain for the inaugural tournament,” Kara said. “We’ve got a lot of experience in this team and I’m really thankful to be given this opportunity.
“The squad has been working really hard over the last couple of months and we’re in great shape heading to Launceston. I’m excited to finally get on the field and see our hard work pay off.”
The University of Canberra has been placed in Pool B alongside the University of Queensland, Bond University, and the University of New England.
The tournament will be streamed live on rugby.com.au.
University of Canberra squad:
- · Kiahan Bellchambers
- · Sophie Broadhead
- · Sarah Carter
- · Regan Hart
- · Ash Kara (C)
- · Sammy Maxwell
- · Yasmin Meakes
- · Darcy Read
- · Cassie Staples
- · Janina Strauts
- · Talei Wilson
- · Sammie Wood
Match day 1 – Friday, August 25
- 2.40pm – University of Canberra v University of Queensland
- 4.40pm – University of Canberra v Bond University
- 7.00pm – University of Canberra v University of New England
Match day 2 – Saturday, August 26
Fixtures to be announced following match day 1 results.