The recent popularity boom surrounding rugby sevens in undeniable, so much so even Australian Rugby Union supremo Bill Pulver said “sevens, and women, are the future” when he was in Orange last week.
There’s little doubt that’s true in Central West Rugby Union (CWRU) in particular after the region’s women’s sevens side claimed the NSW Country Rugby Union Championship not long ago.
The obvious next step, in many people’s eyes, is to form a full-time sevens competition in the area.
CSU Women’s Rugby Sevens Club has quickly jumped on the women’s sevens bandwagon and in a bid to increase the modified version of the sport’s exposure and accessibility, will host a four-team tournament on Friday night.
“Central West is the country champions in this form of the game now and there’s a real boom in rugby sevens, so we’re aiming to provide players with an opportunity to play sevens in a competitive arena without a full-time commitment,” the tournament’s primary organiser, Jack Allars, explained.
“We understand a lot of females are already committed to league tag, soccer or netball so we’re not trying to compete with those sports, we’re trying to complement them and make the sport accessible to the entire university and the region.”
In Allars’ eyes, this tournament – where the students will play against Mudgee, Bathurst Bulldogs and the Orange City Lions – will be a stepping stone.
“We’d love to see a sevens competition complement the competitions Central West already has, and Central West has been incredibly helpful in helping us set this one up,” Allars said.
We’re aiming to provide players with an opportunity to play sevens ... without a full-time commitment.CSU sevens organiser Jack Allars
“After this competition I’ll be looking to speak to all the clubs about forming some sort of partnership, hopefully to form a side to go away and play at the summer competitions around the state. Obviously Central West already has a very successful team that plays at the country championship so we’d look to act as a development side.”
Friday night’s sevens tournament kicks off at 6pm at University Oval, Orange City faces Bulldogs at 6.10pm. The Lions will host a day from 9.30am at Pride Park on Sunday as well.
Orange City is sending a side to Dubbo’s 15 and under gala day on Friday night as well.