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UC sevens coach keen to unearth stars of tomorrow

Antony Perry

25 July 2017: Newly appointed University of Canberra women’s sevens coach David Grimmond believes there are some national stars of the future waiting to be discovered in Canberra and the surrounding region and he’s ready to unearth the next generation of talent.

Grimmond was unveiled as the University’s head coach today and will guide the side through the inaugural Aon Uni 7s Series, which kicks off next month.

The former Australian representative boasts more than 20 years’ experience in the shortened version of rugby both as a player and coach and is eager to uncover the stars of tomorrow.

“The Aon Uni 7s Series is an exciting initiative and I’m thrilled to be leading the University of Canberra in its inaugural year,” Grimmond said.

“This is a huge step forward not just for rugby sevens in Canberra and the surrounding region, but for the sport altogether. We have a lot of talented players running around in our region and it’s great to see them receiving more opportunities to play sevens.

“We’ve got players from a variety of sporting backgrounds who want to play sevens. Australian touch footballers, rugby league representatives, and girls who’ve done great things in athletics, we’ve got them all.

“What this new competition is going to assist with is uncovering future Olympians and if we can unearth a few here in Canberra in the next few years, we’ve done our job.”

Grimmond brings to the role a wealth of experience. He has been in charge of the highly successful Brumbies women’s rugby sevens program since 2011 and was the Australian women’s development coach in 2015.

In the latter role he supervised the progress of several players who went on to play a part in the Pearls’ triumphant campaign at the Rio Olympics last year.

Grimmond is close to finalising a squad which will consist of proven international stars, local rugby products, and women new to the sport.

Australian co-captain Sharni Williams and Cassie Staples have been assigned to the University as marquee recruits. The side was previously allocated Brooke Anderson, who has since been ruled out through injury.

With a host of talented local and Southern NSW players to choose from, Grimmond said he was spoilt for choice as he puts the finishing touches on a side he believes can challenge for the title.

“I’ve been really pleased with the progress the squad has made in a short period of time,” he said.

“We’ve got a mix of experienced players and women who are new to the sport. What the newcomers lack in experience they make up for in natural athletic ability and enthusiasm.

“The players have gelled well and together with our Australian representatives, I think the squad we will unveil in the coming weeks will be a formidable force.”

The University of Canberra is one of eight tertiary institutions selected to compete in the Aon Uni 7s Series.

At least half of the squad will be made up of women studying at the University of Canberra, furthering the University’s commitment to providing students with avenues in which to realise their sporting ambitions.

The competition is the first domestic Australian women’s sevens competition and has been designed to offer the best up-and-coming talent the opportunity to train and play in a high-performance environment.

The inaugural series will be contested over four tournaments from August to September.