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The University of Queensland has named Mackenzie Sadler as its captain for the inaugural Aon Uni 7s Series.

Sadler will lead a 12-player squad at this weekend’s opening round in Tasmania (25-26 August).

The four-round competition features eight universities, with teams consisting of students and international sevens players.

UQ captain Sadler boasts an impressive rugby sevens pedigree, having won gold medals at both the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games.

In 2017, the 20-year-old joined the UQ Rugby Club after relocating from Adelaide to participate in the Queensland Academy of Sport’s rugby sevens program

Sadler said it is an honour to be handed the captaincy by Team UQ coach Reg Tayler.

“It has been a different start to the rugby season for me, but the girls at UQ have welcomed me with open arms and I am extremely excited to begin the tournament this weekend in Tasmania,” Sadler said.

“It will be strange to play against old team mates but that’s always the case when moving to a new state or club.”

Team UQ’s squad includes a number of international players, with Australian representatives Emma Sykes and UQ alumni Emilee Cherry named to play.

Jannicke IJdens and Bodil Van Wijnbergen will also line-up for UQ, having played for The Netherlands in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

The side features five members of the Queensland Youth Girls team that won the 2016 National Youth Sevens Championship, including Australian development team member Lily Dick.

Sadler said she believed UQ had put together a well-rounded team.

“We do have quite a few young girls in our team, but they do bring a lot of experience with many of them having played on the world stage,” Sadler said.

“I am confident in all of them and can’t wait to see them play in a national open tournament.”

Team UQ will face University of Canberra (2:40pm), University of New England (5pm) and Bond University (6:40pm) on Friday 25 August, with Semi-Finals to decide the Round 1 winner to be played on Saturday 26 August.

All matches will be streamed live and free on rugby.com.au’s website and Facebook pages.

The UQ Rugby Club will host Round 3 of the Uni 7s at the UQ Sport Athletics Centre from 16-17 September.

The University of Queensland – Aon Uni 7s Series team (Round 1):

1. Grace Kaihau
2. Lily Dick
3. Jannicke IJdens
4. Emma Sykes
5. Georgia Hannaway
6. Emilee Cherry
7. Mackenzie Sadler (c)
8. Vetaronnica Tafito Fomai
9. Bodil Van Wijnbergen
10. Bri Rossato
11. Waytogo Rikk
12. Rebecca Goulding / Kobe Nona

Media: Jamie Mitchell, UQ Sport, JamieM@uqsport.com.au, 0423 785 752.