Australian 7s star and Darling Downs product Dom du Toit will return to the Queensland Reds 7s line-up for the first time in 2023, with Round 3 of the AON Next Gen 7s kicking off in Sydney at Daceyville this Saturday, 18 February.
du Toit is joined in the side by fellow Australian 7s players Lily Dick, Faythe Manera and Isabella Nasser, who were all part of Queensland’s dominant performance in Narrabri at the Santos Festival of Rugby last weekend.
Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) Women’s 7s squad members Heidi Dennis and Georgia Grey, daughter of former Wallaby Nathan Grey, have also been brought into the side and are due for their first hit out in Reds colours for 2023.
“Once again we’re lucky to welcome back some experienced Australian 7s players this week and it is particularly special to welcome back Dom du Toit,” said Reds 7s head coach Reg Tayler.
“Dom was one of our first QAS Women’s 7s graduates to travel through the pathway, all the way from being identified whilst still at school at Fairholme College in Toowoomba, to progressing through our academy and then go on to become a fully contracted Aussie 7s athlete and Olympian.”
So far Queensland are yet to drop a match in the Next Gen 7s series, drawing one game with the Rising Stars in the first tournament, but Tayler is adamant that the team must continue to stay focused.
“We’ve had a good run in terms of results so far, but with new faces coming into the side each tournament the team needs to remain switched on and ready for the challenges ahead. Each time NSW and the Rising Stars play they’re improving and we need to ensure we’re continuing to improve ourselves if we’re continue this run of form.
“I’m fortunate as a coach to have a squad of players that I am confident whoever we call up, they are able to fill straight into the team and do the job.
“Ultimately the Next Gen 7s series is about unearthing the next generation of talent for the Australian Women’s 7s program and our players who are hopeful of reaching that next level need to show that they can perform week-in-week-out and impress the Aussie 7s coaches, who are taking a keen interest in these tournaments.”
The third round of Next Gen 7s kicks off at Daceyville in Sydney on Saturday, 18 February, with matches to be streamed live via Rugby Xplorer.