Sports Star of the Week: Leilanie Andrews

LEILANIE Andrews had never played a game of rugby union before she was selected as one of 60 girls to attend an intensive, three day training camp in Alice Springs earlier this year.

As a result of her form at that meet, the 16-year-old from Wallabi Point will now be heading to New Zealand in April as part of the Schoolgirls National Indigenous Rugby Sevens side.

It's been quite a process to get to where she is, including writing an application form to be a part of the training camp.

Indigenous coordinator at Kinross Wolaroi, Anthony Begg, first encouraged Leilanie to give it a go.

"He told me to try out and see how I go, and I'm really glad I did," said Leilanie.

"I had to write an application that outlined all my sporting achievements and they must have liked it because from that I was chosen as one of the 60."

During the trip to Alice Springs the girls were split into groups of 11 for different training drills and skills development, before games on the final day.

Leilanie was assessed on both her performances on and off the field and admitted that she was shocked when her name was announced as part of the 15-strong squad to tour New Zealand.

"I was one of the last names read out, I couldn't believe it," she smiled.

Leilanie is this week's Manning River Times Iguana Sportstar of the Week and has earned herself a $50 gift voucher at the store.

She expects to play on the wing in NZ and said she particularly enjoyed the physicality of rugby union.

"I always liked the idea of playing a contact sport and I've really enjoyed it, even though I had no idea about rugby union before, it's a lot of fun."

Leilanie will start school at Taree High School in 2014 where she will no doubt be a valued asset to their many sporting teams.

She is also a notable sprinter, touch football and soccer player a real all-rounder.

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