Nikita Cuffe and Taniele Gofers are the latest Sydney University athletes to earn selection in the Australian team for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Cuffe and Gofers were named in the 13-strong Australian women’s water polo team announced at an Australian Olympic Committee dinner on Friday night. Both represent Sydney University Lions in the national league.

Brisbane’s Mel Rippon will captain the team with Western Australian goalkeeper Emma Knox named vice-captain. Sydney University’s other involvement with the team comes through assistant coach Ryan Moar, a former Sydney University Lions player, and team doctor Grace Bryant a Sydney University Blue for water polo and netball, who now works at the campus sports clinic.

The team includes Gemma Beadsworth, Nikita Cuffe, Suzie Fraser, Taniele Gofers, Kate Gynther, Amy Hetzel, Bronwen Knox, Emma Knox, Alicia McCormack, Melissa Rippon, Rebecca Rippon, Jenna Santoromito and Mia Santoromito; manager Jeanette Gunn; head coach Greg McFadden; assistant coaches Ryan Moar and Aleks Osadchuk; physiotherapist Danealle Lilley and team doctor Grace Bryant.

Sydney University’s water polo ranks could be boosted by another four, through Trent Franklin, Thomas Whalan, Sam McGregor and Robert Maitland, when the men’s team is announced later this week.