The World Schools 7s Tournament will recommence in Auckland this weekend, after the pandemic forced a two-year hiatus.
The Australian U18 Girls and Boys teams will compete against teams from New Zealand and South Africa throughout Saturday 17 December and Sunday 18 December – and the tournament will be broadcast ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport.
The U18 program is an essential part of identifying the best Sevens talent in Australia, giving young players the opportunity to gain international tournament experience – and the squads selected feature a host of famous Australian Rugby names such as Burke, Grey, Lolesio, Staniforth and Jorgensen.
The Girls team secured the trophy back in 2018 and 2019, and have produced current Aussie Sevens stars including Madison Ashby, Faith Nathan, Sariah Paki, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Maddison and Teagan Levi, Bienne Terita, Faythe Manera and Isabella Nasser.
The Girls team is coached by Wallaroos captain and Rugby Sevens Olympic Gold medallist Shannon Parry, and has attended four training camps throughout the year at the Surfing High Performance Centre in Casuarina.
“This has been an important part of our preparation in bringing all of the players together,” Parry said.
“It’s exciting to have Milla Elaro and Piper Simons on board, who have recently returned from a successful Australia A campaign in Dubai.
“World Schools is a top-quality tournament and the team is ready to challenge themselves against some of the best talent from across the world.”
Current Wallabies have also played for the Boys team, such as Fraser McReight and Tate McDermott.
The Boys team is coached by Michael Hodge, a former Waratah and Sevens player.
“The World Schools tournament is such an exciting opportunity for these boys, as they’re able to compete against some of the best young Sevens players from around the world,” said Hodge.
“The squad’s preparation has been excellent, and they have bonded very quickly – we’ve got plenty of attacking threats in the middle and speed to burn on the edges.
“The tournament itself is a difficult format to win - we need to start fast and just keep winning. We’ve got some good depth in the squad, which will be tested over the two-day event.”
The tournament will be shown ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport, with the Boys team up first at 9:02am AEDT, against Niu Nuku Tuta World Schools Sevens Squads for Auckland