Wallaroos captain, Olympic rugby sevens gold medallist and Griffith University graduate Shannon Parry is teaming up with students of popular music, dentistry and sport management in the Griffith University team contesting the inaugural Women’s Aon Uni 7s Series over the next few weeks.
The 26-strong Griffith University squad was announced at the Gold Coast campus in July and features 12 current students lining up alongside 14 players based with clubs outside the Griffith ranks. The squad has been developed in partnership with Griffith Uni Colleges Knights Rugby Club and Sunnybank Rugby Union Club.
Each of the eight universities competing in the national competition is strengthened by two elite players from the Australian Women’s Sevens set up, with Shannon Parry and Demi Hayes donning the Griffith jersey.
Both have notable incentives to guide Griffith to success. Shannon graduated from Griffith with an education degree, while Demi is currently on leave of absence from her business studies at Griffith to fulfil national Rugby Sevens commitments.
“They will line up beside current students of sport management, education, sport development, exercise science, psychological science, popular music, dentistry, business, law, journalism and engineering,” Naomi McCarthy, Manager of Griffith Sports College, said.
“The Aon Series is an excellent initiative for the sport of rugby sevens where top players like Demi and Shannon will be able to share their experience and know-how with the next generation of fast-emerging talent.
“We have brought together a group we are confident will represent Griffith University in a fitting way on a national stage.”
The elite national series kicked off in Tasmania on August 25 with the first of four tournaments involving teams from University of Canberra, University of Adelaide, University of Tasmania, University of New England, Macquarie University, Bond University and University of Queensland.
In addition to the playing squad, two Griffith sport development students, Shannon Matheson and Teysha Deal, will have key organisational roles as manager and assistant manager.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for myself to be a part of an elite level sporting event,” Shannon said. “I am looking forward to working alongside the athletes and coaching staff in developing the women’s sport of rugby sevens and watching the success of the Griffith team in the competition.”
Griffith University squad: Lauren Brown, Katie Curtis, Ashleigh Cooksley, Eliza Flynn, Hanna Brennan, Taylor-Adeline Mapusua, Laura Waldie, Rachel Walsh, Jess Beer, Ellen Field, Taylah Maurice, Liza Cameron; Ana-Maria Afuie, Alana Elisaia, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Phoebe Thomas, Vetekina Aho Fangaloka, Shannon Mato, Katie Brock, Samantha Treherne, Rhiannon Revell-Blair, Ivania Wong, Yolanda Gittins, Katelyn Sherrin, Tayla Eldridge, Eseta Aho Fangaloka; Shannon Parry, Demi Hayes.