When Charlotte Haling got a call from NSW Rugby development officer Angus McDonald she probably didn’t expect it to be about a flag bearing role, but for the 16-year-old Kinross student that’s exactly what it was.
McDonald reached out to Haling, also an Orange City Lions ace, for her dedication and commitment to the sport which are two of the qualities that landed her in the Central West under 16s sevens side.
The team will play Central Coast before the Wallabies-Scotland clash this Saturday at Allianz Stadium and after that, Haling will lead the green and golds out with the Aussie flag in hand.
Bursting with emotion, Charlotte is mostly proud to represent her hometown of Gulargambone, which boasts a population of just 395 people.
She’ll be joined as flag-bearer by Dubbo’s Max Rumble.
“It’s a very big thing doing that out from out west, from Gulargambone,” Haling said.
“I really want to do it for my town and school. A lot of them know about it which is very exciting.”
Up until September of 2016, Haling hadn’t played an ounce of rugby but after visiting a discovery day and impressing coaches, she was asked to join the Central West team.
Despite being a youngster, Charlotte isn’t feeling the heat as she’s welcoming the opportunity with open arms.
“I’m more excited than nervous,” she said.
“It was a really big shock when I found out but it will be a great experience,”.
Haling’s open-mind has transferred to the rugby field as well, as she’d prefer to float around than be pigeon-holed in one role.
“I play a bit of backs and forwards and when I play 15-a-side I like flanker,” she said.
Schoolmates Courtney Currie and Steph Lennon will also take the field against Central Coast to make up a strong Kinross contingent, they’ll play in Central West’s under 18s side.
Haling, Currie and Lennon were also put through their paces by NSW Waratahs coaches Pat McCutcheon and Tim Rapp on Friday, before attending the Wallabies’ captain’s run as well.
The Wallabies-Scotland Test kicks off at 3pm.