5 minutes with a legendary UNE Lion, Chloe Saunders
Chloe Saunders is one of our UNE Rugby Lions juggling her high-performance commitments and studying a Bachelor of Education at UNE. We are super excited to have her representing UNE nationwide on her Aon Uni 7s Journey!
Mid North Coast’s own, Chloe Saunders has a good rugby brain and is able to assess the situation in front of her and how to manipulate it to her teams advantage. Chloe can play right across the backline from ballplayer to winger and has worked hard on her game to push her position in the senior squad. Tom Bower, Program Manager.
We were lucky enough to pinch a few minutes of Chloe’s busy schedule to ask her a few questions!
What inspired you to get into rugby?
After a few years of playing high-level cricket, I was ready to change codes.
My dad is a Kiwi and a proud, strong ‘All Blacks Supporter’ so of course that had a massive influence on myself and my 4 other siblings. My dad (who was in line for a future debut for the All Blacks) and my heritage is a massive inspiration.
Which position do you play?
I’m new to sevens, I’m building my expertise and I am trialling to be a forward at this stage.
Name 3 things you love about being part of a team sport?
- Building mateship.
- Physical and mental strengths and challenges.
- Allows you to grow.
What are you most excited about being a UNE Lion?
I’ve been associated with the lions since the program began. So, I’ve got a few years of trialling under my belt. Now I am a Lion, I’m really grateful for the opportunity that it can bring!
What is the best part about competing for UNE?
I am from a small country town and not much if offered for women’s sport particularly rugby. So it’s pretty awesome to have this opportunity! I’m representing the countryside, the best part about that is competing against big-city university teams and standing strong!
What does training look like for you?
Training is second nature to me. It’s full-on with five days a week of training, actually… seven if you count rugby on Saturday and Sunday. It includes five days of F45 with three extra gym sessions that focus on power and strength as well as three-five running sessions – three sprint sessions and two recovery endurance flush run’s.
Ha, as I said, it’s full-on, but I love it.
How do your teammates make practice fun?
They’re a good bunch, very easy going. We like to play different kinds of music in and out of training. Everyone allows each other to feel comfortable, even in serious moments.
What keeps you inspired?
I’m not the quickest, strongest or biggest, but because of this, I keep working and grinding. There are many athletes that feel the same – keeping at it means I’m building memorable moments in my career.
When you’re picked in a team, you’re picked for a reason, many people will doubt that… even myself.
But things happen for a reason, this keeps me grounded, level headed and grateful.
Also, the amount of time, money, sacrifices and travel that is needed to become a lion or be part of any high-level sport reminds and drives me to not waste the opportunity.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Loyal, Independent and Loving
What advice can you give a young girl who would like to play Rugby?
It took me three years to become a lion, I told myself this year was my last chance to make the cut and, I did it.
I did actually make the cut in my first year however, I never made a tournament. I just missed out in the second year due to not being a university student and I wasn’t ready mentally and my third year I trained hard, showed dedication and received the results I was hoping for.
SO GIRLS… dig your heels in and fight for your position that you deserve regardless of physical appearance.
What do health and wellbeing mean for you?
It means that it is okay to speak when something is bothering you and that it is critical to treat yourself when you feel you need it.
Being fit and healthy mentally and physically is great but it also requires reflection and time to wind down.
Quick Facts about Chloe
- My birthday is 8 March 1999
- I’m happiest when I’m exercising with mates
- I stay motivated by setting high goals for myself in nutrition, health, and fitness
- My guilty pleasure is ‘children and family movies’ in bed undisturbed.
- Best life advice I’ve ever received is to ‘dress classy, speak intelligently and don’t swear’
- My team is made up of girls from all over Australia, we are a close-knit group which is important to me.
Thank you so much for your time Chloe, we’re really proud to have you as one of our team!
If you’d like to follow Chloe on her journey you can keep up to date with events and updates on the UNE Lions page
or follow her on
And a big shout out goes to the team at SportUNE who keep the Lions team kicking on!