Olympic Gold Medalist Chloe Dalton
This week, Australian women’s captain of the Wallaroos called for ‘more games, more often’, if our nation is to stand on the world rugby stage.
Sharni Williams cited this simple formula over the weekend as her team readied to play off for fifth position in the World Cup in Ireland.
She believes our women are better than semi-finalists and wants the governing body – the ARU – to take note.
Back on home soil, she may just be getting her wish.
This week saw the first round of the inaugural Women’s Aon Uni Sevens Series kick off in Launceston, which finally brings rugby Sevens in line with football, netball, basketball, cricket, and AFL as having a national series for top women players.
The series will include four two-day tournaments, including last weekend’s at the University of Tasmania, Launceston (25-26 August), Macquarie University, Sydney (9-10 September), University of Queensland, Brisbane (16-17 September) and Bond University, Gold Coast (29-30 September).
The series is supported by the entire Australian Women’s Sevens squad – Rio Olympic Gold Medallists – who are scattered between each of the teams.
Macquarie’s Gold Medallist, Chloe Dalton, believes the introduction of a national tournament series is a huge step forward for women’s rugby.
“It provides opportunities for girls who have never played before, those who may consider switching sports, and for those who have been playing rugby for a while to play a tough competition.
“It also means that players in our Aussie squad can get some more game time on home soil, which is awesome for friends and family to come and watch. I hope that young girls can watch and see how much fun rugby is and then get involved with their local club,” she said.
After making a tough decision to give up basketball, Chloe began playing rugby at her local club Warringah Rats at the start of 2014.
And it was only upwards from there.
“I was selected in the NSW Rugby Sevens team to compete in the Nationals,” she explained.
“Following the National tournament, I was then invited to attend a couple of training camps in Narrabeen, the home of the Australian Women’s Sevens Team. I began training full-time with the team in June of 2014, and in December of that year made my debut for Australia in Dubai – the first leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series.”
Macquarie will play host to Round 2 of the tournament on 9-10 September in what is set to be a festival of rugby.
Playing alongside Chloe will be rising star, and Macquarie student, Dominique du Toit who will don the Macquarie Uni Rays’ distinctive colours as they fight for a spot in Sunday’s women’s Sevens final – the curtain-raiser to the anticipated men’s local derby match between Macquarie University Sydney Rays and the Western Sydney Rams.
As Chloe said: “Game six on day two of the tournament is all about who can have the mental toughness to push their body to the edge while remaining composed under pressure.”
So come on out and get ready to see some real fight from our MQ team!
MQ First round results:
Macquarie University 24 vs 5 University of Tasmania
Macquarie University 38 vs 0 University of Adelaide
Griffith University 21 vs 19 Macquarie University
Macquarie University 0 vs 31 University of Queensland
Macquarie University 17 vs 7 Griffith University
The Macquarie University girls fought hard and took home the Bronze Medal.