5 MINUTES WITH A LEGENDARY UNE LION, RHIANNON BYERS
This young lady is an Original UNE Lions player (this is her 3rd season) an Australian Pearls Representative and a 2018 Aon Dream Team Representative – basically, she is the bee’s knees, and an incredible asset to our team.
We are incredibly proud to have Rhi representing UNE nationwide on a Aon Uni 7s Journey!
“Rhiannon is the aspiration that girls from rural communities need. She has always been extremely dedicated and driven to be the best of the best in rugby. A fearsome defender, she always makes teams think twice when they run the ball. Rhiannon is the only player to have played all three seasons with UNE Lions and has reaped the rewards with her selection in the national squad, the Australian Pearls. She was heavily involved in Australia’s silver medal in the World Series over the weekend, showing that the pathway provided by UNE Lions is there for any country girls wanting to reach the top” Tom Bower, Program Manager.
Rhiannon kindly shared a few moments with us to talk about her journey!
What inspired you to get into Rugby?
There really wasn’t a lot of sports to choose from when I was growing up, in Pallamalla a small rural town in NSW (30km East of Moree). All I knew was I love being in a team environment and meeting new people – so when Rugby came up, I gave it a shot… and I’m really glad as its given me lots of opportunities to grow and meet people all over the world.
What attracted you to team sport?
1. The team culture
2. The opportunity to meet new people
3. Playing rugby – I’m hooked.
What are you most excited about being a Lion? 🦁
Being a UNE Lion is a great opportunity to connect with other girls from rural and regional areas.
What is the best part about competing for UNE?
This will be my 3rd year proudly competing for UNE, I’m actually part of the original team. It’s great to be playing for a local university – there’s something special about it.
What does training look like for you?
Pre-season its a pretty busy schedule, travelling and meeting up with the girls to stay on top of training and fitness. Right now – we’re in the midst of our games, so games, training, and recovery.
Your family is a great support to you, how have they helped you over the years?
My family is amazing! They drive my success. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, but so have they. I’d say they’ve travelled over 100,000ks to get me from A to B over the years – and I can not be more grateful.
What advice can you give a young girl who would like to play Rugby like you?
Have a crack! It’s an awesome opportunity to meet new people, just go out and have fun. You won’t know if you like it until you give it a go.
What does health and wellbeing mean to you?
Health and wellbeing mean a lot to me… if your health goes down so does your performance. To be the best version of you, you have to look after your body and mind. 🧠
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
That it’s ok to fail… if you’re not failing you’re not growing.
Quick Facts about Rhi
- I play a forward (Developmental player)
- I’m happiest when I’m playing with my dog Portia
- My parents are my heroes.
- I stay motivated by living in each moment.
- My team is my second family and every jersey I wear I wear with pride. 💚🖤
Rhiannon won’t be playing this coming weekend as she represented Australia in the World Series over the weekend! 🙌🏼 with the team finishing 2nd behind hosts, USA. We are hoping to see her return to the UNE Lions in round four of the Aon Uni 7s Series.
If you’d like to follow Rhiannon on her incredible journey you can keep up to date with events and updates on the UNE Lions page or follow her on
As always, a big shout out goes to the team at SportUNE who keep the Lions team kicking on!