Grace Hamilton's hopes of once again representing Australia on the highest stage may have to wait as a decision to postpone the Rugby World Cup looms.
The Orange prop was part of the national team that finished sixth at the previous tournament and would have been a good chance of travelling across the Tasman for this year's event.
But World Rugby this week announced that it had "made the difficult decision" to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between September 18 and October 16 October, until next year.
A statement issued on behalf of World Rugby read: "While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family.
"The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 landscape.
"It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport's greatest stage."
"The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions. World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family."
The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on March 8 and 9 respectively.
In 2018, Hamilton was a member of the NSW Waratahs which claimed the Super W title over the Queensland Reds. She was later a member of the Waratahs' victorious 2019 and 2020 Super W sides.
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