Women's rugby sevens to debut in Lower North Coast competition

Wendy Wilkins blocks Haley Dunk's progress during a match in the women's rugby sevens gala day played at Nabiac in December. Five sides will contest the inaugural Lower North Coast competition this year.
Wendy Wilkins blocks Haley Dunk's progress during a match in the women's rugby sevens gala day played at Nabiac in December. Five sides will contest the inaugural Lower North Coast competition this year.

EGULAR 15-a-side rugby matches between women's teams from the Lower North Coast and Mid North Coast competitions could be played during the 2018 season.

“I have had numerous requests that the women who would like to have more exposure to 15s rugby,’’ Mid North Coast Zone director of women’s rugby Steve Lee explained in a communique to clubs.

“I propose that every four weeks a combined Upper Mid North Coast be formed to played against a Lower Mid North Coast on a home and away basis.

“No competition points will be at stake. This is merely an exercise to allow players to experience and provide a pathway to rugby 15s, which is a completely different format to sevens.

“We need to agree on a start date and also appoint some coaches. I would anticipate these “experience games” be open to any registered player.’’

Women’s sevens will be played in the Lower North Coast for the first time this year.

Five of the six LNC clubs will field teams, with Myall Coast the only absentee.

Old Bar and Manning Ratz are both definite starters and the clubs report promising attendances at pre-season training. Mitch Carter is in charge of the Ratz with Brian Groughan coaching Old Bar.

“The introduction of the women’s team has increased enthusiasm at our club 10 fold and our numbers at training are very strong, particularly for this time of year,’’ Old Bar president Anthony Barber said.

Women’s seven matches will be played before the men’s games.

Players will also be vying for places in the Mid North Coast side to play in the Country Championships at Campbelltown on Saturday May 12. It is proposed club matches set down for that day be postponed and played as a double header on Saturday June 23. Last year’s championships were held at Tuncurry.

A gala day held in Taree last September provided the impetus for the formation of the women’s sevens while a second gala was played at Nabiac in December.

Gloucester played in the Mid North Coast competition last season and this involved playing some matches in the Coffs Harbour area.