GIRLS rugby Sevens will make a debut at the 16th TAS Rugby Carnival to be held this weekend, adding to the reputation of the largest primary aged boys' tournament in Australia.
The draw is done, the accommodation has been allocated and the fields at The Armidale School are being marked ahead of the two-day fixture, which will see more than 900 school and club players from 46 teams converge on Armidale.
The inaugural girls' competition has attracted eight teams in the 16 years division and five teams in the under 14s, while there are 31 teams taking part in the boys' under 12s fifteen-a-side tournament.
After the carnival was cancelled in 2020 and slimmed down to a regional event last year, organisers are delighted to welcome back teams from the Sunshine Coast in the north to Sydney in the south and from Moree in the west, to the coast.
Over the two days, 125 games of rugby will be played on seven school ovals, which have been proudly prepared by TAS grounds staff over recent weeks.
Teams will play a minimum of four matches on Saturday and a final on Sunday.
The Spirit of Rugby Relay will again be a highlight on Saturday afternoon, while all teams will be in the running for the Canterbury Team of the Carnival trophy, recognising sportsmanship and spirit over the weekend.
"With the growth of women's rugby, it was logical to expand the spirit of the carnival to include a girls' 7s tournament alongside the traditional boys' 15s competition," carnival convenor, TAS Director of co-curricular Huon Barrett said.
"The carnival is well known for creating friendships on the fields and on the sidelines and for many of the players it is their first time on tour, with all the lifelong memories that come with that."
"It is also a huge TAS community event and we are looking forward to welcoming not just the players, but their coaches and supporters, to Armidale for a special weekend celebrating the best of junior rugby."
The players are staying at TAS, NEGS and PLC, whilst more than 1000 supporters have booked out accommodation in Armidale over the weekend.
Visitors will also be able to engage in some retail therapy, with a record 16 stallholders selling regional produce, artisan homewares, jewellery and fashion at the TASRC Emporium in the TAS Hoskins Centre.
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