'It’s a surreal feeling': History-making Halse eager to take Wallaroos chance

Wed, May 15, 2024, 4:35 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Caitlyn Halse's Try from Round 5 of Super Rugby Women's 2024

Wallaroos fullback Caitlyn Halse was lost for words discussing what it meant to play for Australia after her historic inclusion in the side to face the USA.

Halse will become the youngest player to play international Test Rugby for Australia when she takes the field on Friday in Melbourne.

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"I think it was just an overwhelming feeling," Halse said on getting called up to make her debut. 

"Obviously getting to play for your country's a massive thing in any sport but, it was obviously a big dream of mine since I was a little kid.

“It’s a surreal feeling getting the chance to play for your country but being one of the youngest to do it is a great feeling.

“Having that camp (in 2023) helped with my development and then that second year of Super helped to develop me even more.”

Halse was left in the dark about her selection until the team announcement meeting after a broken phone prevented any heads-up from coach Jo Yapp.

When the number 15 popped up on the screen with Halse's face, the emotions overtook the 17-year-old and her teammates.

"My phone was actually broken the day we were meant to get calls around selection, so I didn't know if I was playing or not. It wasn't until we were in the team meeting with the announcement when my name came up on the screen and just went straight into tears," she explained.

"All the girls got around me and some of the other girls cried as well, which is really cute. Maya Stewart and Piper Duck were the main two (in tears).”

Halse is still balancing school life with Rugby, entering her HSC.

“When we’re not training I’m always doing some sort of schoolwork or study to keep up," she notes.

However, one less pressure is on her shoulders this camp with Shalom Sauaso taking over Wallamina duties as the youngest player in the squad.

“Wallamina is probably the most stressful thing about the camp, I can’t lie," Halse said and laughed.

“All the girls are trying to take it so definitely grateful I don’t have to look after it.”

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