Ireland Women’s Sevens players Eve Higgins and Kathy Baker are currently in Australia on a development placement with Bond University that will see them compete in the Aon University 7s over the coming months. Each week Eve and Kathy will keep us up to date with their experiences Down Under.
Eve Higgins and Kathy Baker are following in the footsteps of the Ireland team-mates, Stacey Flood, Claire Boles and Katie Heffernan, who played with Bond University last year. Flood captained the team in the inaugural season of the University 7s tournament.
Both Eve and Kathy made their HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series debuts last season having previously featured for the Ireland Under-18s. Higgins was a nominee for Rookie of the Year at the World Sevens Series’ end-of-season awards.
They both played at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July and the trip to Australia is part of a continued commitment to their development both on and off the field.
The Aon Uni 7s competition runs for five rounds, with the first leg played on August 25-26 in Tasmania. Each week Eve and Kathy will keep us up to date with their experiences Down Under:
Bond Girls’ Diary – Week 1
Following the (opening round of the Aon Uni 7s) tournament in Tasmania, we had a recovery and video analysis session on Monday evening in the High Performance gym with the whole team.
We started with a 10-minute cycle on the watt bikes and followed it with contrast hot and cold baths. We then headed up to a video session where the whole squad gave their ideas and opinions on how we performed over the weekend and how we can improve.
We have enjoyed cooking in the house by ourselves. We cycle to Aldi on our bikes which were given to us by the Uni (which may have caused a few tumbles!) and get stocked up with food for the week.
We had a gym session on Tuesday and Wednesday and a rower/bike session on Thursday. We had pitch sessions on Wednesday night and Friday night which we focused mainly on defence such as tackle technique and defensive systems.
With a weekend off, we made sure it was jam-packed! We woke at five o’clock to go to Brisbane where we caught a ferry to Moreton Island, which is the third sandiest island in the world!
We first headed to the desert in a 4×4, driving on sand roads which made the ride feel like a rollercoaster. We did some sand boarding down the sand dunes, where we discovered just how difficult it was to walk up a hill of sand. We hopped back in the bus and headed to the beach for our gourmet sandwiches (which had minimal sand in them!).
These sandwiches were made quite enjoyable due to the fact that we were sitting on a beach with the waves gently rolling around our feet. We were then kitted out with wetsuits, snorkels, goggles, gloves and flippers and had a great time discovering the 15 sunken ships on the shores of Moreton Island. This was followed by kayaking in clear kayaks where we saw a perfect view of the fish beneath us.
On Sunday morning, our Bond Uni team-mate, Sophie Holyman, brought us to Burleigh Beach at 8am and took the rescue boards out of the local surf club and attempted to surf.
We enjoyed breakfast then headed home to get changed and head to Southport to go to the Gold Coast Shows. We sat by the main stage and listened to music until the firework show began later that night.
We’re back in action this weekend for the second round of the Aon Uni 7s, with a trip to Canberra on the cards for us. For more info on the Aon Uni 7s, visit here: http://www.rugby.com.au/competitions/uni-7s.