This is only the second year 15-year-old Holly Christison of Bega has been playing rugby, but she is already kicking goals in the sport.
The player for the Far South Coast Falcons Rugby Union Club has been selected in the ACT Schoolgirls side by the ACT Brumbies.
“It’s just really, really cool. I’m still 15, so it’s so amazing that I’m so young, but still got chosen for the squad,” she said.
Eden High School’s Bella Kiely was also named in the squad, while Molly Carr and Sisilia Ragatu were picked up in the Development Squad.
“I’m really close friends with all of them and it's so amazing to play in that team with them and to see them succeed,” Holly said.
Along with a fourth student from Bega High – Brianna Davis-Lonesborough - the Falcons players competed in the Inaugural Schoolgirls Invitational Tournament held at the Australian Institute of Sport on the weekend of June 30-July 1 where they were selected for the squad.
The tournament was the first time a 15-a-side competition of this type had been organised for under 18 female rep players.
“We won one game and lost two games. In the final we placed fifth, but it was really fun to play and we went pretty well,” Holly said.
Far South Coast Falcons' head coach and ACT provincial coach Scott Harris was pleased with how the team played at the tournament.
“The girls did really well, they did themselves proud,” he said.
Holly has a rigorous training schedule as part of the squad: every Wednesday and Sunday in Canberra during the school holidays, then when school begins on Wednesdays in the Bega Valley and Sundays in Canberra.
“It’s pretty tough, but it’s pretty fun at the same time,” the Year 10 student said.
“On the weekends I play 10s and what we play in the squad is 15s, which are a lot more physical. You’ve got to know everyone so you can play well as a team.”
Because she has played games with the other young women in the squad for the past six months, she said she gets on with them very well and it was fun playing with them.
“I feel pretty at home. It’s like a big community, you’re all family, everyone is so nice,” Holly said.
She said there was a steep learning curve when she first started playing rugby and it was nerve wracking at first.
“But after a few weeks it was really fun,” she said.
“I love the sportsmanship, I love the physicality of it and scoring tries. I don’t not like anything about it.”
The ACT Schoolgirls play against the play Melbourne Rebels on July 29 in Albury and the NSW Combined High Schools Schoolgirls on August 9 in Merrlyands