University of Tasmania unveiled the hopefuls out to champion its flag on home turf in a further landmark for women’s sport in the state.
The inaugural National University Sevens Series will kickoff in Launceston over August 25 and 26 that features eight varsity-based teams.
Playing under the UTAS Lions moniker, the female trailblazers got kitted for the first time to don the red strip that bares the university’s distinct logo on the jerseys.
The Lions squad is headed by high-profile internationals Shanice Parker and Sydnee Watanabe, Australian Olympian Ellia Green and American signing Kiki Morgan.
But Tassie converts to the game feature strongly that include students Michaelyne Arumbi, Wynonah Conway, Jessica Dobbie, Kristina Farrelly, Rebecca Hyland, Caitlin Ryan and Brielle Quigley.
“The Uni sevens series is providing our local aspiring athletes with an opportunity to train, play, and be guided by some of the world’s best rugby players, and the experience, skills and mentorship they will impart is key to growing this sport in Tasmania,” Lions coach Luke Burgess said.
“The coaching staff have been extremely impressed with the levels of commitment and the coachability of our playing squad.
“We’re so proud of how far the group has come and can’t wait for the series to kickoff.
“Selection has been extremely difficult, with all players facing a two-stage process of identification, followed by analysis of their capacity to perform at this level and develop into elite players.
“We are extremely excited for the future of the University Sevens Series rugby and look forward to turning Tasmania into a destination for elite rugby sevens players from all over the world.”
The first-ever competition of its kind in the world was inspired by Australia’s women’s gold-medal success at Rio.
The Australian Rugby Union launched the series in February to increase the number of pathways for aspiring athletes to progress towards national selection, while also playing alongside the world’s best sevens stars.