Captain of the Wheatchix rugby team, Dr Danielle Plummer of Knox Veterinary in Dalby, QLD, was also last year’s highest scorer and best all-round player.
“Throughout my school years I was a soccer player simply because the opportunity to play rugby was never offered to girls. When I attended Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, there was a pretty big women’s rugby sevens competition. I joined a team and loved it immediately.
“I was offered a position with Knox Veterinary in Dalby and joined a staff of 15 women. When the Dalby District Rugby Union Club advertised they were running a Women’s Sevens Series, it made sense to sign up. My workmates became my on- and off-field support team! The men’s team is called the Dalby Wheatmen so we became the Wheatchix.
“The other teams come from the surrounding areas such as Condamine, Goondiwindi, St George and Warwick. There’s a bit of travelling to play in the competition—sometimes we can tick over 600 kilometres a day in a round trip. We have a match every second weekend and carnival days sees us play three or four games in a row.
“In January, the Wheatchix took on the Downs Barbarians as a curtain raiser for a Waratahs versus Reds game. Games like that are great for promoting women’s rugby and we could definitely do with some more players. When injuries keep players out, we can sometimes struggle to come up with the numbers. We’ve had broken legs and broken collarbones but nothing too serious. Recently, we’ve had a bit more interest from the local women so I’m pretty excited about the upcoming season.
“Sevens rugby is short, fast and very active. The games are 14 minutes in length with seven-minute halves. However, it’s played on a full-sized field so there are lots of tries. There’s plenty of room for speedy players to break free and score. My vet clinic, Knox Veterinary, has come aboard as the exclusive sponsors for the Wheatchix in 2020.
“There’s a great social aspect to the game too. Lots of fun events are organised and when the locals come down to watch a match, their support is really appreciated. It’s always nice to play in front of a crowd.
“The culture around rugby is fantastic. All the rugby clubs with which I’ve been associated are really supportive. They have the future of the game, the players and the supporters at heart.
“We’ve had our first ‘Come and Try’ session for the 2020 season and have recruited four more Chix. I’m looking forward to more ankle tapping in 2020, especially with the support of my teammates and workmates.”