Dream Run for Waikato Rugby Star
(17 Jun 2016)

University of Waikato student Ilaise Tomu will be playing in black at the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championships in Swansea, Wales come July.

Tomu (pictured back, second from left) has always dreamt of playing rugby for New Zealand. Now, following a standout performance for the University at the inaugural National Tertiary Women’s Rugby Sevens Championships in April, that dream will become reality.

The 24 year-old student will travel to the United Kingdom as part of the New Zealand Tertiary Women’s Sevens team and compete against nine other nations in the 7th iteration of the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championships from 6-9 July 2016.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” says Tomu.

“Not only will I get to travel and gain unforgettable experiences, but I’ll also get to showcase and improve my rugby skills and get a glimpse of some of the talent from other ladies around the world.”

The team will go up against competition from Great Britain, France, Japan and Italy during pool play but will need to finish first or second in their pool to progress through to the championship’s semi-finals.

Hoping to guide the team to the gold medal will be retired professional rugby star Zak Fe'aunati.

“We are very excited and can’t wait to get to the tournament,” says Coach Fe’aunati. “It’s a chance for the girls to showcase their talent on the world stage at an international level”.

This opportunity comes off the back of a string of rugby successes for Tomu, who after moving to Hamilton to pursue a Master’s in Education at the University of Waikato, is making a name for herself within the Waikato rugby community. She currently captains local club Hamilton Marist’s women’s rugby team and has been selected to represent Waikato in women’s rugby.

Contact name: Kayla Wilson

Contact Phone: 07 838 4664