Weston rugby product Liam Dalibozek will start a fortnight of representative duties when he steps out for NSW Youth Sevens in Brisbane this week, followed by representing Australia at the World School Sevens in Auckland a week later.
The All Saints' College, St Mary's Campus year 12 student was drafted into the Australian side last Friday after being first selected as a shadow player.
The World School Sevens tournament will feature teams from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, Samoan Barbarians, Tongan Barbarians and NZ Fijians.
Dalibozek will spend a week training with the Australian squad next week after the National Youth Championships, which are being held in Brisbane this weekend.
The 17-year-old plays both forms of rugby, and plays at fullback or wing in the 15-man game, but he prefers the seven-a-side format.
He says the World School Sevens in New Zealand will be the biggest competition he has taken part in and is looking forward to the jam-packed fortnight of rugby.
“I played for a Newcastle team, the Hawthorne Academy, and we went to a Forster tournament and there was one in Maitland as well,” he said. “It will be [the biggest tournament], but I played for the NSW side last year.”
Head coach of the NSW Youth Boys, Chris Delooze, said he expects the state’s two teams to be “extremely competitive” after winning the past three national titles.
“The boys have been training extremely well over the last six weeks and both teams are ready for another big tournament,” he said.
“There will be a number of returning players in the Blue team and that extra experience will be important in the knock out stages of the competition.”
Dalibozek has represented NSW Country in the 15-man format and plays locally for Wanderers RFC.
He was named player of the tournament at the Newcastle under-20s sevens in October after helping the Hawthorne Academy to a 22-7 win over Manly in the final.
The Waratahs Junior Rugby Union Club has established a rugby academy to assist young female players enter the game with a view to playing senior women’s rugby for the club.
“The initial focus will be on girls wishing to play Under 15s and Under 17s in a variety of competitions in 2019,” said juniors president Chris Grieve.
Features of the women’s academy include:
- Strength and conditioning training
- Skills training in 7-a-side, 10-a-side and 15-a-side rugby
- Coaching by experienced players such as Australian and Super W Rugby player, Katrina Barker, and NSW Country’s Tahlia Goldsmith
Training for the academy will begin in January.