Rugby Union: Nelson Bay's Maya Stewart "stoked" to make maiden Wallaroos squad

IN: Hunter pair Maya Stewart and Katrina Barker representing NSW in the Super W last month. The Waratahs players were both named in the Australian women's rugby union squad on Thursday. Picture: Rugby Australia media
IN: Hunter pair Maya Stewart and Katrina Barker representing NSW in the Super W last month. The Waratahs players were both named in the Australian women's rugby union squad on Thursday. Picture: Rugby Australia media

She's just turned 19, she's just won her maiden Super W title and she's just been picked in her first Wallaroos squad.

It has been quite the recent ride for Nelson Bay rugby union player Maya Stewart and now a World Cup berth in 2021 isn't out of reach.

Stewart and Katrina Barker, her NSW and The Waratahs teammate, were both named in the Australian women's top 46 on Thursday ahead of a four-Test season.

"I'm pretty stoked and didn't really expect it," Stewart told the Newcastle Herald.

"I didn't feel like I did too much over the [Super W] season, but I think some of the coaches saw something in me which is always good."

The Wallaroos, who start training twice weekly in Sydney from Monday, host Japan in Newcastle and North Sydney in July before a home-and-away series against the Black Ferns.

The next World Cup will be held in New Zealand in a little over two years time (July 28-August 14).

Stewart is one of 16 uncapped players in the group.

"The World Cup is in 2021 and if I don't make it [to play for the Wallaroos] this year then I know that will definitely be in my sights," she said.

It has been a rapid rise up the ranks for former touch footballer Stewart, who only debuted for NSW a couple of months ago before helping them defend their inaugural crown with an 8-5 grand final win over Queensland at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

"I feel like it [Super W] wasn't at all what I expected, it was so much tougher," she said.

Stewart, who will again play with University of New England in the Aon Uni 7s Series in 2019, is set to resume commitments for Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union club The Waratahs shortly.

Barker represented the Wallaroos at the 2017 World Cup in Ireland.

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