Time for Echidnas to grow their club
RUGBY UNION :Getting more women in to rugby is the name of the game at Roma Echidnas, ahead of their famous Rugby Sevens competition.
Now three months out from game day on February 1, the Echidnas are still scouting for more members for the women’s side.
They have put out the call for women of the west to join the team now – just in time for a special training session with Downs Rugby development officer David Southwood, scheduled for tomorrow evening.
“David’s area as a development officer covers Roma, Charleville and St George, and he’s coming out here to encourage the girls – those who have been training, and also any new girls who would like to come along – to try Rugby Sevens at his training session,” Roma Echidnas club president Richard Bright said.
“We are hoping we might be able to transition some of the athletic touch (football) girls who are quite fast and nimble, and want to have a game of Rugby Sevens.”
So far, the Echidnas have seen a handful of local women at their early training sessions, but Bright is hoping to double the numbers, because he has an even loftier goal in mind for the ladies squad: the 2020 Emilee Cherry Cup.
“So far we have had regularly about 10 girls turning up on a Wednesday night over the past month,” Bright said.
“But ultimately we’d love about 20.
“Because we always have a women’s team in the Sevens, which will be on February 1, and then we want to transition into having a team in the Emilee Cherry Cup.
“We have always had a girls team in the Roma Sevens, and that has been going for about six or seven years.
“We want to take the next step and have that, continuing on to have a permanent team throughout the next few years.”
Should they get a full side together, the newly-minted women’s Echidnas would be up against some formidable sides from across the southwest, including St George, who have seen huge growth in their Frillnecks fillies side this season.
It is exactly what Bright hopes to replicate in Roma.
“St George had in excess of 25 to 30 girls this year, and I would like to think we could get at least 20, Bright said.
“To have them would build the community here, and getting another 20 girls playing means it is another 20 people in the club.
“(In St George) getting the girls on the field changed the whole dynamics, the whole atmosphere of their club in the blink of an eye.”
Roma Echidnas is inviting all current and interested women to join the Richard Southwood training session at 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 30.