As our attention turns to the third round of the AON Uni 7’s this weekend in Adelaide, UNE centre Chloe Saunders discusses her passion for the game and the invaluable experience she has gained playing at the AON Uni 7’s
“I’m young still and rugby is a developing chapter in my life. I’m really passionate about it, every day is exciting,” said Chloe.
“I’m still fresh, I understand I have a lot of maturing in self-belief to grow – but I’m working on this, and it’s pretty exciting that I get to grow and be inspired by my teammates,” she said.
Injuries are a part of any sport, with the desire to come back strong and push herself as far as she can.
“Due to an injury I missed 12 months of rugby, so my pathway into the squad was the main goal. Playing in the Aon tournament next year will be the next pathway to pursue. Many people do not understand that these are fantastic opportunities They provide a range of skill testing, ball skills, game tactics and technique skills opportunities, which helps us as players and also to bond as a team.,” said Chloe.
“Everyone pushes for the Australian team, but I will await the process as it takes time. My ambition is to see how far I can go and what it can offer, meaning the places I will see, the team I will be in and the people I will meet,” she said.
“I guess I’m just taking in and enjoying the experience each day. AON 7’s offers many other opportunities in invitational teams and competitions which again puts your foot in the door for more and more competitions, experience and exposure in the sport.”
Chloe is in her first year of studying a Bachelor of Education and says when it comes to balancing study commitments with playing sport at a high level, best practise routine and a good support network are keys to success.
“Juggling both study and sport can be a bit of a nightmare if I’m honest, especially if you include working full-time on top of it,” said Chloe.
“However, it is manageable with a good routine but let’s be honest sometimes you don’t have a choice but to leave your study to last minute due to the hours of travel, commitment and time it takes to do both study and play sport,” she said.
“UNE does offer really good support with my sport and course work – it’s pretty flexible, which means I can do all of the things that I love whist studying a degree.”
Biding her time on the sidelines while recovering from injury, Chloe believe the Queensland contingent are the teams to beat in 2019.
“At this stage I would say the teams to beat are Griffith University or UQ,” Chloe said.
“When it comes to the team I enjoy playing the most, I look forward to playing the Adelaide University 7’s girls the most,” she said,
Round three of the AON Uni 7’s is at the University of Adelaide this Saturday 12 October with finals to be held on Sunday 13 October.
UNE play their first game of round three at 12.30pm against University of Canberra.
All games will be live streamed on rugby.com.au.
Read more about the UNE Lions here.