The Batemans Bay Boars goal of having four teams in the Next Generation Super 7s Series is closer to fruition after a successful registration evening on Friday night.
More than 40 girls and women showed up to express their interest, and more names have been pouring in over the weekend.
Boars’ president Matt Ryan said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
“We got 43 names on the night, but we’ve probably extended that to over 50 since then,” he said. “We’ve already got enough girls for three teams, and we’re only one or two away from getting a team in the 18s.”
Ryan said the biggest surprise was the amount of interest in the Open Women’s side.
“The 14s and 16s we were fairly confident on, because they’re the teams that carried over with coaches already in place,” he said. “The surprising part was the Open Women’s, where we’ve had a heap of names come through.
“That was the one I had the most worry about, but I’ve got no reason to now.”
A lot of the interest in the open women’s team came from established rugby players from the Batemans Bay Tigers tackle and league tag sides.
This means Ryan and the coaching staff will need to teach them the nuances of rugby union, but Ryan said that wouldn’t be an issue.
“One great thing about the girls is they’re way more willing to listen and learn than the men,” he said. “Sometimes the guys just want to go out there, puff their chests out and score tries, and they forget their technique.”
The Boars had injured Wallaroo Violeta Tupuola and Brumbies’ player Anna Korovata in attendance on Friday night, and Ryan said they fantastic.
“They both got involved and hung around afterwards to chat to a few people,” he said. “It was great to have them down.
“We sort of had an impromptu game of touch with some skills around it. We didn’t get into a full skills session because the girls were having too much fun.”
Ryan said he hoped the 7s series would lead to a greater involvement of women in rugby union in the Eurobodalla Shire, including an increase in female coaches.
“It’s predominantly men at the moment, but it would be ideal if a couple of women on the coaching roles down the track,” he said.
“The ultimate aim is to develop a few women’s coaches for the next few years.”