23 October 2015
Stars Rugby 7s has spent a week training in Australia, spending time in Brisbane, Byron Bay, and the Central Coast to prepare for the elite Central Coast 7s tournament. The tournament draws some of the top national teams and representational sides from around the world including Australia Developmental 7s, New Zealand Developmental 7s, Canada MapleLeafs, Fijiana, Sunnybank (Australia) RuGirl 7s (Japan) and more.
With the current USA 7s selection camp being held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, the busy WPL and collegiate fall championships, many of the normal Stars USA player pool were unavailable for selection for the return to CC7s. The Stars Rugby 7s global network (and a fair bit of social media) prevailed to produce a powerful side featuring elite women's rugby players from 5 different countries with numerous 7s and 15s caps amongst them. Injuries did take their toll and eliminated players Georgia Page, Beth Stratton, and Kristy Giteau from the original roster while work & school circumstances prevented Fehi Schaaf, Kate Porter, Nicole Benedetti and Nikki Kenyon from attending.
Nevertheless, the Stars were able to secure the services of many guest players recommended by Tribe 7s Director Don Caslick and Australia Developmental 7s Coach Nath McMahon. It is a testament to the character and dedication of all these athletes in how quickly the team has come together for focused training sessions around the Central Coast - the team returned to Avoca to train with Paul Briggs, to Terrigal for a session with Nath McMahon, and has been guided (literally, as the team's brave driver on the opposite side of the road) by Stars Director of Coaching Vaha Esikia.
The team's motto throughout tour has been EMBRACE THIS CHALLENGE and the ladies have done it - braving sessions on the beach in Byron Bay, training in the in rain in Wyong & Avoca, and attacking the hill at The Haven in Terrigal. There was some extra speed training via the pelicans at The Entrance as well for a bit our tourist fun. Long days have been balanced with recovery work, chiropractic care, acupuncture, taping, and treatments courtesy of team physio Alex Flohr.
Pool play matches commence on Saturday 24 October with the Stars seeded in Pool D. The women kickoff against Fijiana at 12:20pm (9:20pm Friday NYC), followed by last year's scrimmage mates Central Coast Academy of Sport at 3:20pm (12:20am Saturday NYC), and finishing the day with last year's Bowl Final opponent Sunnybank at 6:00pm (3:00am Saturday NYC). The Cup Quarterfinals kick off Sunday at 10:00am in a crossover with Pool A (Canada, Aussie B, Manly, Ozboks) with additional games to follow.
Stars Rugby 7s CC7s Final Roster:
Emily Belchos - Canada 7s (Canada)
Emily Chancellor - Sydney University/New South Wales (Australia)
Anthea Clarke - Uni North Owls (Australia)
Jannicke Ijdens - Tribe 7s/Netherlands 7s (The Netherlands)
Kirrily Laws - Liverpool Cougars (Australia)
Tiara Littleton - Life West Gladiatrix/ARPTC (USA)
Ema Masi - Queensland University (Australia)
Michelle Montague - Waikato (New Zealand)
Breanne Nicholas - Canada 7s (Canada)
Georgia Page (injured) - Queensland Reds (Australia)
Phoebe Thomas - Sunnybank/Tribe 7s/Queensland Reds (Australia)
Lauren Turner - Scioto Valley/W1823 (USA)
Nikki Weyers - Tribe 7s/Netherlands 7s (The Netherlands)
Head Coach: Vaha Esikia - LVRA/Rugby12
Guest Coach: Kristy Giteau - ACT Bumbies (Australia)
Physio: Alex Flohr - Optimum Health & Performance (Australia)
Director: Liz Entwhistle - Fort Miami/W1823
Stars Rugby 7s would like to thank the following tour sponsors: Washington Irish RFC, Dragon Rugby Academy, Women's Old Blue RFC, W1823, Palmer College Rugby, Teliczan Construction, Optimum Health & Performance, Erica Black Wellness, All American Training Center, Paladin Sports, Rugby 12, Budd Bay Promotions & Apparel, USA Rugby Club, Viking Kayak NZ, and SweatX.
Stars Rugby 7s was founded in November 2013 with the mission of developing rugby 7s players in elite tournament settings. Teams compete in multiple high performance assemblies and international tournaments each year with a deep talent pool combining internationally capped 7s and 15s players, elite prospects, athletically gifted players new to the game of 7s, and crossover athletes. There is a major focus on recruiting players that lack regular exposure to high level coaching /playing opportunities due to geographic restraints and the lack of resources which varies greatly throughout the United States. While mostly US based, the Stars rosters include players from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK and welcomes any players committed to the team and rugby camaraderie. Tours have included the Las Vegas Invitational, Calgary Stampede 7s, Australia Central Coast 7s, Tobago 7s, Serevi Rugbytown 7s, and Atlanta 7s with numerous championship appearances and titles won.
About Central Coast 7s: