Fresh from her side's swashbuckling Super W triumph last weekend, Grace Hamilton was over the moon after being named to headline the Wallaroos' squad for this year's two-Test series against Samoa on Tuesday morning.
The Panuara product did admit it's still somewhat disappointing the Tests won't go ahead as planned this month though, after they were postponed to protect the well-being of players and staff amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Hamilton's Wallaroos were scheduled to face their Samoan counterparts before the Wallabies' showdown with France on July 17 in Brisbane before a second, standalone Test at Sydney's Leichhardt Oval the following week.
It was so exciting considering what happened last year, but also because earlier in the week we didn't even know if we'd be able to play this final.Grace Hamilton
But they were postponed and are expected to be played in September now, Rugby Australia announcing the changes as they confirmed the Wallabies' first Test on Wednesday had been moved from Sydney to Brisbane.
"When it was announced the games were being postponed it was pretty disappointing because it did feel a bit like we'd been training for nothing, but obviously it was a decision made to keep everyone safe," Hamilton said.
"It's really exciting, we've got a week off but we'll start training again soon, we're all looking forward to it."
The Tests will serve as crucial preparation for next year's World Cup in New Zealand which was postponed from 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, with the Australian women starved of international games since 2019 as a result.
As the incumbent, Hamilton is expected to captain the Australian side against Samoa and potentially at the World Cup too, although the leadership role wasn't announced as the extended squad was released on Monday.
Hamilton was named alongside 19 more of her title-winning Waratahs teammates, with Central West's own LillyAnn Mason-Spice also named in the squad after impressing for the ACT Brumbies this year.
The Waratahs secured a fourth consecutive Super W crown on Saturday afternoon by hammering Queensland 45-12 at Coffs Harbour's C.ex International Stadium.
All those titles have come from undefeated campaigns, although last year the Waratahs were crowned champions thanks to their minor title win as COVID wreaked havoc on the competition.
"It was so amazing considering what happened last year, but also because earlier in the week we didn't even know if we'd be able to play this final," Hamilton, NSW skipper, said.
"We travelled to Coffs Harbour earlier than planned originally to make sure we could play though and, honestly, it was probably our best performance of the season so it was a good time to pull that out.
"In the past we've always had to dig really deep against Queensland, we've only beaten them by a few points, so it was pretty nice to be able to score a few more this time around."
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