20/2/2015 - Sevens shot for Emus dynamo: ‘I’m expecting a massive step up’

GIRL POWER: Close friends Nikki D'Aquino and Liv Patterson (inset) will represent NSW and Australian Universities respectively, at their respective under 18s and opens National Sevens Championships, Photos: STEVE GOSCH and CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY                                                                                                                                                                                                 0218sgrugby2GIRL POWER: Close friends Nikki D’Aquino and Liv Patterson (inset) will represent NSW and Australian Universities respectively, at their respective under 18s and opens National Sevens Championships, Photos: STEVE GOSCH and CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY 0218sgrugby2
AT the NSW Country Sevens under 18 trials, Orange Emus halfback Nikki D’Aquino went “to have a crack”.

At last weekend’s NSW trials, again, she went “to have a crack”.

Now the 17-year-old has been picked to represent her state with a potential Australian spot on the line, she’ll head to next weekend’s National Youth Girls’ Sevens Championships to, you guessed it, “have a crack.”

“I’m expecting it to be a massive step up,” D’Aquino said.

“I’ve just got to prepare myself the best I can, push myself to my limit and hopefully play my best rugby.

“(Australian selection) would be a dream come true, but I guess I just need to work hard and see what happens.”

After a gruelling selection process D’Aquino was named alongside six of her NSW Country teammates to represent NSW.

“It was exciting, I certainly didn’t expect it,” D’Aquino said.

“I was just in shock, speechless for a good couple of hours.

NSW heads into camp on Thursday, before contesting the championships tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

D’Aquino won’t be the only Orange product competing at a national sevens championship this year, with close friend Liv Patterson named to represent the women’s Australian Universities team at the open titles the week after.

Patterson was named in the Australian Universities team after a strong showing at the Australian University Games with CSU Bathurst.

Incredibly, she was also included in the opens NSW squad but chose to don green and gold instead.

“I thought it was a bit selfish to potentially take someone else’s spot when I have the opportunity to play in the Universities team, so I pulled out (of the NSW squad),” she said.

“It was a very tough decision but I’m happy with it. I’m very proud to be a part of this team.”

Patterson’s Australian Universities team will compete at the National Sevens Championship from Friday, March 6 until Sunday, March 8, and the 21-year-old said she is confident her side is a gold medal chance.

“It’s quite nerve-wracking for me considering I’ve only played a few games, and it’s against the top girls in the country,” she said.

“But I don’t think we’ve really got anything to lose. For me, I just want to play hard and have fun. We know there will be (Australian selectors) watching, but I’m not really thinking about that.”

Both championships will be contested at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2894235/sevens-shot-for-emus-dynamo-im-expecting-a-massive-step-up/?cs=104

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