A love of footy

19-05-2019 by admin

Red Bend student Lillyann Mason-Spice has been selected for the NSW Rugby 7s Blue Belles. 0516lillyannWhile most girls her age are playing non-contact sport like netball or soccer, Lillyann Mason-Spice’s love of contact football has seen her selected for the NSW Rugby 7s Blue Belles team.

The 16-year-old’s love of football began at a young age – she started playing rugby league when she was five years old and continued with that until she had to switch to league tag (as girls can’t play contact after the age of 12) and now she has finally been able to get back into contact football by switching to rugby union.

Late last year Lillyann was selected for the Western Region Academy of Sport (WRAS) rugby 7s squad

and through that she has played a number of competitions.

The most recent was in Newcastle, where Lillyann was one of about 15 girls selected for the NSW under 17s team.

Red Bend Catholic College sports coordinator Pat Rudd was the person who encouraged Lillyann to try out for the WRAS team.

Mr Rudd said the school is very proud of Lillyann’s selection in the NSW Blue Belles team.

“It’s an external program through Rugby NSW,” he said.

“It’s a pretty big achievement to go through the channels, playing gala days.

“Lill was a very talented league junior as a 12-year-old but girls can’t play contact sport after 12 years so there hasn’t been anything for her to tap into until now.”

Lillyann, and her parents, will now have a lot of travelling to do with training sessions in Sydney, as well as upcoming competitions in Bowral, Newcastle, Noosa, Byron Bay and the Central Coast.

On December 2 she will attend a youth camp for national squad selection and if she gets chosen for the nationals team, Lillyann will head to Western Australia on December 8 for the three-day international competition.

Lillyann’s mother, Larelle Spice, said Lillyann has a pretty good chance of being selected for the national squad.

“I think she’s got a lot of potential,” Ms Spice said.

“Her coaches are all very impressed with her.

“We’re very proud.”

In addition to her rugby union 7s success, Lillyann has also been asked to participate in a Nations of Origin Rugby League 7s Tournament at Raymond Terrace in July.

While she loves both rugby league and rugby union, her mum, Ms Spice said that if Lillyann had to choose between the two, she’d pick union.

“She’d choose union because she can go further than league at the moment,” Ms Spice said.

“She has the opportunity to play union in the Olympics later on.”

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