School rugby players Charna Thompson, 18, Laura Stielow, 16, and Tash Kara, 17, are off to Christchurch tomorrow to compete against the best schools in Christchurch in a 10s competition. Photo: Andrew Board.

Girls off to 10s comp

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The region’s top young rugby girls are heading to Christchurch this week where they are hoping to go two better than their inaugural effort last year and win the Christchurch Secondary School 10s competition.

The Whakatu 10s rugby team is a composite of players from Motueka High School, Nayland College, Nelson College for Girls and Marlborough Girls College and features a strong contingent of international players. Player/coach Tash Kara says the squad has the potential to win the competition. “I think we’re capable of winning it this year, the amount of training we’ve been doing is really positive. Fitness is definitely one of our strengths.”

Last year the team, playing in the tournament for the first time, finished third out of 14 teams. The result took even the players by surprise, who didn’t expect to do as well as they did.

This year the team has a mix of senior club rugby players and those who have never played until this year. Tash says the international players, on a student exchange, have really developed since playing 7s over recent weeks. “It’s a really new thing for our international students, but we’ve played five games within school rugby and they’ve learnt a lot about the game. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback around 7s, a lot say they are keen to get into it back in their home country.”

The team travels to Christchurch on Wednesday, playing up to seven games on Thursday before returning to Nelson on Friday.

More than 20 teams have registered for this year’s tournament says Tash.