AHEAD of her first start in a Wallaroos jumper, Orange’s Grace Hamilton has described the feeling of running out on to Auckland’s Eden Park as an incredible experience.
The Australian Women’s Rugby Union side was beaten 67-3 against New Zealand’s Black Ferns in the clash, but Hamilton said competing in the first women’s game at the famed Auckland venue was a dream come true.
“It was the first time a women’s rugby game has been played on such prestigious grounds which is is great stepping stone for the sport,” the former Kinross Wolaroi student said.
“For me personally running on that field was such a privilege, running out with tears in my eyes all I wanted to do was lift each girl on that field and not give up despite the result.
“We are a team who have came together in a week before competing against the best team in the world and I give full credit to my girls who never put their heads down.”
Hamilton believes the experience will have her side in good stead ahead of Wednesday’s Test at North Harbour Stadium, 12.30pm AEDT.
Now playing her club rugby with Sydney University, the blindside flanker will make her first start in the clash, wearing the No.6.
“It wouldn't matter if I played for 80 minutes or one minute, every time I take the field its about putting my best foot forward and doing what I can to support my team,” Hamilton said.
“We have re-grouped well and take full credit for the errors made, and I know our girls will step up for the next test against the Back Ferns tomorrow at North harbour.”
Wallaroos head coach Paul Verrell said his side was determined to improve on its last outing.
“We are very disappointed with many facets of our game on Saturday, but we have owned up to our mistakes and have to move on to raise our standards,” he said.
The Builcorp Wallaroos play New Zealand on Wednesday at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland with kick off at 12.30pm AEDT.
Buildcorp Wallaroos to face Black Ferns:
1 Louise Burrows, Canberra Royals
2 Alanna Patison, Newcastle University
3 Hanna Ngaha, Sunnybank
4 Alisha Hewett, GPS
5 Chloe Butler, Parramatta
6 Grace Hamilton, Sydney University
7 Ariana Kaiwai, Blacktown
8 Mollie Gray, Sydney University
9 Iliseva Batibasaga, Sydney University
10 Ash Hewson (C), Sydney University
11 Madeline Putz, Palmyra
12 Sarah Riordan, Merewether Carlton
13 Katrina Barker, Warringah
14 Cobie-Jane Morgan, Warringah
15 Chloe Leaupepe, Oatley
16 Ivy Kaleta, Sunnybank
17 Emily Robinson, Warringah
18 Danielle Meskell, Warringah
19 Michelle Bailey, Sydney University
20 Liz Patu, Wests Bulldogs
21 Kirby Sefo, Sunnybank
22 Nareta Marsters, Sunnybank
23 Cheyenne Campbell, Redlands