Rhiannon Byers’ mother thought something was wrong as watched her daughter cry while on the phone.
The rising Australia Sevens star was actually was actually shedding tears of joy as the small-town girl finally earned her stripes on the national stage by being offered a contract with Rugby Australia.
“I was very shocked when I got the phone call. I was a bit speechless for a little bit. My mum thought there was something wrong with me, I was crying but I wasn’t speaking,” she was quoted as saying by the Inverell Times. “It was great news for my family and my local area.”
The former Inverell Highlander and Warialda High student had signed a development contract for women sevens in January but is now a fully fledged member of Australia’s women’s sevens squad.
Speaking to Times, Byers said her performance and efforts during training had been rewarded with a contract.
Stars Coach & Physio Paddy Bowen caught up w Rhiannon Byers when she was home for a week from @Aussie7s! Rhi was a key player on our 1st @Coralcoast7s tour, recommended bc of strong performances on #Aon7s & w Country Rugby. We can’t wait for Rhi to make her @WorldRugby7s debut! pic.twitter.com/fKBOO18ipn
— StarsRugby7s (@StarsRugby7s) March 27, 2019
“I was very pleased knowing what I have been doing at training, they can see something in me and that it’s all paying off at training,” she said. “I’m just hoping the full-time contract gives me some greater opportunities to better myself.”
Byers is hoping to get the opportunity to be a part of the squad that will play in the last tournament of the 2018/19 world series in Biarritz, France.
“I don’t really know too much about the selections, you just keep training and fight for spots to come,” she was quoted as saying. “My opportunity might happen it might be now.
“I’m now just training consistently for whatever opportunity might come up. If injuries come up I’m there, mentally ready and physically ready for what’s to come.”
The Times said the training regime Byres was facing with the Australian sevens side was a step up from what she was used to when playing for the Inverell Highlanders. She will attend four full days of training a week, with one day added because of her sevens contract.
When she was only with the Highlanders, training was twice a week for two hours.
“My passing and ball awareness and game-play has improved phenomenally and will keep improving if I keep the hard work up,” she was quoted as saying.
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