Two Macarthur women are proudly set to represent their state in 2019.
Campbelltown Harlequins pair Jemima Henry and Mahalia Murphy have gained selection in this year’s NSW Waratahs W squad.
Henry, Murphy and their good friend Atasi Lafai were all named NSW Waratahs W train-on squad, which was trimmed to a finalised list of 30 players last month.
Unfortunately, Lafai wasn’t selected due to an ongoing knee concern.
Henry said it was a big “shame” that Lafai missed out but was stoked for herself and Murphy to make the final squad.
It is great reward for Henry, who reached the train-on squad stage in 2017.
“I am 100 per cent stoked but a little surprised that I was selected,” the 19-year-old said.
“Mahalia was likely to get picked so it’s a great experience for us both.”
Henry and Murphy have resumed training three times a week with the Waratahs.
Henry said training was “full on” and covered several aspects of rugby union, including conditioning and skills practise.
“They [coaches] are looking to build team work morale which is important in playing and training,” she said.
“Even though we’ve made the final squad, you need to keep performing well and keep up that intensity.”
The Waratahs are preparing for their first trial match against the ACT Brumbies in early February.
The Super W season begins in March.
Henry, who plays in the second row, said she was focused on a major goal in 2019.
“I would love to regularly make the Waratahs starting side,” she said.
Murphy, 24, will also look to make her Super W debut this year.
However, the fullback has already represented Australia in the rugby sevens format.
In November, Murphy told the Advertiser she would proudly represent Campbelltown if picked for the Waratahs.
“It's good for the girls from Campbelltown to show you can come from anywhere to play for the Waratahs,” she said.
“There are opportunities to get into the team, no matter where you come from."