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Southern Cross University women’s rugby team up for the challenge


Zoe Satherley
16 October 2009
It has been six years since Southern Cross University has fielded an all-female rugby team – but the women are back on the field.

The revival is due to the University’s involvement as a key supporter of the women’s division at this year’s Byron Bay Rugby Sevens tournament, being held this weekend at Byron Bay.

It is also part of the Byron Bay Sevens 20-year anniversary celebrations – which include a reunion dinner this weekend for former Southern Cross University Rugby Club members that will see a host of SCU alumni attending, as well as Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee.

Also playing this weekend are two SCU men’s division X Rats teams, so it should be a very successful weekend for the Southern Cross University club.

All of the women in the team have extensive touch football backgrounds, with Candy Boggs and Tahlia Rutherford both being former touch representative players. Halfback Kristy Jones is the most experienced rugby player in the team and will look to lead her team-mates around the ground.

The team is made up totally of current students from the University, with the Southern Cross Gold Rats first grade coach John Jenkins at the helm. Professor Jenkins is the Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and the rugby club is excited that a coach of his credentials is involved in the revival of the women’s rugby team at SCU. His coaching assistants are SCU student and former Gold Rats second grade coach and current first grade five-eighth, James Jeffress, and SCU student Wil Latham.

“All of the girls have been training extremely well over the last two months, and their progress both as individuals and as a team has been outstanding,” Jeffress said.

The tournament begins tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, with the SCU women’s team to play three games in pool B, kicking off their campaign at 10.40am at the Byron Bay Recreation Grounds in Tennyson Street. They will play Coffs Harbour, the much fancied Papua New Guinea Defence Force team, and interstate rivals, the University of Queensland.

Photo: SCU women’s rugby team members and their coaches, who will play in the Byron Bay Rugby Sevens tournament this weekend.