A YOUNG female rugby union player from Nelson Bay has won gold by playing in the Australian Girls team that won the World School Sevens Championship in New Zealand last month.
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Maya Stewart, aged 18, plays for The Waratahs Rugby Union Club in the local competition, has been in outstanding form during the 2018 season.
The World School Sevens is an annual rugby tournament that showcases the best Under 18 Rugby Union Sevens talent from around the world. The 2018 Championship for girls and boys was played at Pakuranga United Rugby Club grounds in Auckland last Friday and Saturday (14-15 Dec).
The Australian Girls defeated New Zealand Condors 29-5 in the final after accounting for Japan 35-12 in the semi-finals. The Girls team was undefeated in the championships while Australian Boys took bronze.
Maya, who attended St Francis Xavier College, said the championships were a great experience and allowed her to develop her skills and learn more about the Sevens game.
President of The Waratahs, Alex Robson, said Maya was a member of the club’s senior women’s team this year that was undefeated Minor and Major Premiers in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union competition.
“Maya, who plays in the backline as a centre, is an outstanding athlete and rugby player and her selection in the Australian Girls Sevens squad was no surprise to those who know her style of play,” said Alex.
“Maya earlier this year was selected in the Hunter Women’s Sevens, and the NSW Country Sevens and 15s Merit Squads. In October, she was named by Australian selectors in the Aon University 7s ‘Dream Team’ for her outstanding display of running rugby in the five-round series.
“She has also been named in the NSW Women’s Training Squad along with Waratahs team mate and fellow centre, Katrina Barker, for the 2019 Super W rugby competition.
“Her accomplishments this year include scoring four tries in The Waratahs Grand Final victory and being named ‘Most Valuable Player’. She was top try scorer in the local competition by crossing for 27 tries.”
In October, Maya was named in the NSW Women’s Training Squad along with Waratahs team mate and fellow centre, Katrina Barker, to prepare for the 2019 Super W rugby competition.
The 47-member squad included up and coming youngsters and players with Test experience and undertook a six-week pre-season training programme in November and December.
Selectors have just named their final 30-member squad which includes both Maya and Katrina for the 2019 Super W competition.