Batemans Bay teenager Roxy Horne is making strides on the rugby union field after being picked to play in the National Youth 7s Championship this week in Brisbane.
Horne, 15, will play alongside 17-year-olds in the Australian Capital Territory squad after impressing during the recent Super 7s Series.
Eleven teams will participate in the tournament at Ballymore Stadium: QLD Red, QLD White, QLD Grey, National Indigenous, NSW White, NSW Blue, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT, Western Australia, and Northern Territory.
Pool games will start on Thursday, December 6, with finals starting on Saturday, December 8.
Horne said her selection was a pleasant surprise, and was looking forward to the tournament.
“I feel pretty excited for the experience I will get out of the trip to Brisbane,” she said. “I was very surprised to be picked because of my age and the small amount of experience I have.
“I’m feeling apprehensive about playing against girls who are up to two years older than me though, because most of them have more experience and skill.”
Despite her apprehension, Roxy is still confident of holding her own at the tournament.
“I feel that I have a good sense of reading a game, and have great ball-handling skills,” she said. “I’m not super quick, but I’ll always try my hardest to get away from a player.
“I’ve been really lucky to play locally with a bunch of really great girls in Batemans Bay.”
Horne works and trains really hard to be at a representative level, but she’s still fairly new to the sport.
She plays with the Batemans Bay Boars during the Super 7s Series, a tournament involving teams from the Far South Coast, Canberra, and Southern Inland.
“I just got picked up from a school rugby 7s event and went on from there,” she said. “We started training as a squad seven weeks ago, and I’ve had to travel up to Canberra once or twice very week for approximately two hours.
“I try to work hard and learn as much as I can at every session, as I’ve only been playing in the 7s competition for three years.
“Our local 7s competition only runs for a couple of months over October and November, and during that period I’m at training twice a week with our coaches Peter, Fua, and Sno.”
And while Roxy is fully focused on the national championships, she has bigger goals for her rugby career.
“I want to keep developing at a high level, and one day I would love to play for Australia,” she said.