They are still learning the finer points of their craft but Miah O’Sullivan, Phoebe McLoughlin and Jada Taylor’s list of achievements on the rugby field are ever-growing, and impressive.
The McCarthy Catholic College trio will on Wednesday head to Sydney before making their way to Brisbane where they will represent the NSW Youth Girls Under-17s at the National Sevens Championships.
O’Sullivan and McLoughlin will play for the NSW Blue (No.1) team while Taylor will suit up for the NSW Whites.
Described by her Central North under-15s coach David Maher as “a special talent” she is one of three players plucked from the under-15s for the tournament.
“I’m a bit nervous but excited,” the young gun said, adding that it will be a good learning experience.
Not that it is a completely new environment for her.
Two years ago Taylor played oztag for NSW, helping her Blues under-13s win lift the State of Origin Shield.
This year is only her second of rep rugby.
“I’d always played league,” she said, adding “my family all play league.”
With no competition to play in she stopped playing when she was 12, taking up oztag. She discovered rugby after being asked to join one of the junior sides for the Tamworth Summer 7s.
After her years playing league the tackling aspect appealed to her.
“It wasn’t much different. Because I’d played a lot of rugby league it was an easier transition into rugby,” she said.
Currently in Year 9 at McCarthy she will be making the move to Sydney next year after being offered a scholarship to Wenona.
“Mahalia Murphy was here for a training camp (for the Central North sides) and she organised it,” she said.
“Competition wise it will be pretty tough but we’re hopeful we’ll be pretty strong contenders,” O’Sullivan said.
It has been a big, and non-stop year for the trio.
“We’ve been going since January – that’s when our pre-season started,” O’Sullivan said.
All three were selected for Country in the 15s format, with Taylor named best back for the under-15s at the Country Championships.
O’Sullivan and McLoughlin were both also called up to the UNE Lions for the Uni 7s series. O’Sullivan came in for the Gold Coast leg and was joined by McLoughlin for the final round.
“It was awesome,” O’Sullivan said noting the intensity the game is played at that level both physically and mentally.
“It is so quick you have to be switched on all the time.”
They also played for Pirates in the inaugural Central North women’s sevens competition.
O’Sullivan said having regular games made “such a difference”.
“Although training is great, it’s always good to be able to go out and play,” she said.
Taylor trained with the Pirates women but was too young to play.
The sevens championships get underway on Friday, and the local trio will be looking to impress.
From the championships an Australian squad will be selected for a training camp in mid-January following which they’ll name a squad of 14 to play in the Oceania under-18s championships.