After a significant year of growth for women’s rugby in the region, the Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies and the University of Canberra (UC) are set to launch a new Senior Women’s Academy.
2023, head coach Scott Fava’s first year in charge of the Brumbies Super W side, saw the Brumbies come within three points of a first Super W Final, the team performing well throughout a campaign which saw the club cap 16 new players.
With UC already playing an important role in the development of local and interstate talent through their UC7s Program, the Brumbies and UC will look to combine their resources to establish a first-class program at their shared base on the University campus.
The Academy will play a crucial role in developing select players identified as potential Super W and elite Sevens players, with the program also serving as a dedicated high-performance environment for the Brumbies’ nationally-contracted Wallaroos players when between Super W seasons.
The group features current internationals Iris Verebalavu (Fiji), Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Ash Bishop (Australia) with Sevens star Kahu Kapea set to represent New Zealand at the Oz Tag World Cup in August.
Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies Super W head coach, Scott Fava said: “We’re proud of the team’s efforts this season and I think we’ve made great strides as a club in the Super W space.”
“The Brumbies have always benefited from a strong pathways program so to see the club launching a dedicated Academy for our program is fantastic and will only benefit the team in the long term.”
Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies General Manager Professional Rugby and Pathways, Chris Thomson said: “Developing and growing the women’s game in our region is critical in achieving future success so we’re pleased to be able to take this step, in conjunction with UC, in mirroring our men’s and women’s programs with the introduction of a Senior Women’s Academy.”
“It’s important that we are investing not only the Super W program and its growth, but the pathway for young talent from Canberra and our region to either join our program and represent the ACT at senior fifteens level, or to progress through the Sevens pathway and the opportunities with UC7s through to the Olympics.”
“Just as we do with our Senior Men’s Academy, our coaches and staff will be monitoring our local junior and senior competitions to add more talent to the group, and we will also be engaging the local business community to bring other organisations on this journey.
“Our vision is that this academy will play a pivotal role in the Brumbies having a strong presence in the Wallaroos for the 2025 World Cup in England, and more importantly a home World Cup in 2029.”
University of Canberra Director of Sport Carrie Graf said: “The University of Canberra is looking forward to continuing our tradition of supporting and growing the next generation of sporting talent through the ACT Brumbies and UC Senior Women’s Academy.”
“As a leading sporting university, UC will continue to prioritise the development of female sportspeople – in this case those involved in Rugby – and continuing our ongoing partnership with the Brumbies to do so.”
Anastasia Martin, Canberra Royals
April Downey, Gungahlin Eagles
Ash Fernandez, Canberra Royals
Ashlea Bishop, Canberra Royals
Becka Masters, Western District Lions
Bonnie Brewer, Canberra Royals
Brooke Gilroy, Canberra Royals
Emerina Marsh-Kiro, Uni-Norths Owls
Erika Maslen, Tuggeranong Vikings
Gabrielle Petersen, Tuggeranong Vikings
Gisela Vea, Tuggeranong Vikings
Iris Verebalavu, Uni-Norths Owls
Jess Grant, Uni-Norths Owls
Kahu Kapea, Uni-Norths Owls
Lilly Bone, Queanbeyan Whites
Lydia Kavoa, Uni Norths Owls
Maggie McConnachie, Uni-Norths Owls
Martha Fua, Tuggeranong Vikings
Makenna Ravouvou, Daramalan
Niki Paterson, Canberra Royals
Sienna Edwards, Tuggeranong Vikings
Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Tuggeranong Vikings