The ACT Schoolgirls U18 Championship challenge will kick-off on Thursday this week at Narrabeen with two representative sides taking part in the three-day competition that brings together some of the bets age-grade player’s in the country.
ACT Blue and ACT White will compete in separate pools at the championship with the ACT Blue team being drawn against Sydney Junior Rugby Union, Rugby WA 18s Girls and Brisbane U18s whilst ACT White will take on NSW Country U17s, Rugby SA U18s and Melbourne Rebels U18 Schoolgirls.
The competition commences at 9am on Thursday with the ACT White taking on Brisbane and the ACT Blue playing the Melbourne Rebels.
“The representative program that the Brumbies have put in place for our local youth girls has provided an opportunity to grow the game in the Canberra, South Coast and SIRU regions, ACT Blue Coach Brett Quester commented. “Throughout the program we have seen the girls improve with every training session, their skills, game understanding and teamwork.”
“I am looking at each player to expand on their playing strengths but also to work on the skills and match strategies that they have learnt over the last two months. The most important thing is for them to enjoy themselves both on and off the field with their team mates and provide them with the inspiration to continue to develop as rugby players.”
The U18 competition is still in its infancy but should grow to become a vital part of the development and progress of the participants towards playing at the senior level in the 15-a-side game.
“With the local competition still in its early years and with a lot of focus on the shorter 7's and 10's format of the game, this competition allows us to introduce a different range of skills and approaches to playing rugby in the 15's format,” Quester said.
“The Brumbies program gives the girls the experience of what is involved in training, preparing themselves for and competing in a high-level competition against some of the best up and coming rugby talent in the country. I think we will see a number of the current group running out for Brumbies Super W team in the very near future.
“Ella Ryan at fly half has outstanding game sense and will provide leadership to the team as captain. Roxanne Horne and Caelee Mazis have some blistering speed out wide. Zali Waihape-Andrews and Ivy Tupai will be solid in defence and will the lead the way for our forwards.”
The ACT Whites Head Coach James Erwin noted that his squad was also looking strong heading into the event.
“Captain Ainsley Scrivener will look to direct the side from flyhalf and Vice Captains Caitlin Quester and Jasmine Veikune will all look to lead by example with their strong ball carries and dynamic defence,” Erwin commented.
“Grace Kemp and April Downey have also had great preparation and look for them to have strong tournaments with their powerful and dynamic ball carries. Two of Canberra’s prominent women’s players, Samantha Maxwell and Emma Masi have joined the coaching staff and not only provided quality insight and coaching, but also continue to develop their knowledge and education in the coaching space.”
You can follow the progress of the ACT in this competition on our social media pages during the week.
COACHES: Brett Quester, Samantha Maxwell
COACHES: James Erwin, Ema Masi
Thursday 11 July
Brisbane v ACT White (9:00)
ACT Blue v Melbourne Rebels (11:15)
Sydney Junior v ACT White (14:15)
ACT Blue v Rugby SA (15:45)
Friday 12 July
Rugby WA v ACT White (9:45)
NSW Country v ACT Blue (10:30)