At the start of another Super W campaign, another Yass local has been named in the Brumbies women's team.
To see her name on the squad list was not necessarily a surprise for Ash Fernandez, who has played with the Brumbies Sevens Youth side, but she described the opportunity as "really exciting".
"I'd been training there for a few years and I've played the nationals for them for two years now," Ash said.
"It was just a big step up, and it was really exciting and a great opportunity.
"I'm really proud to play in this squad and train with the girls."
Ash was not named in the team which comfortably beat the Western Force on Saturday at GIO Stadium, but the 17-year-old said just being in the squad was a huge learning experience.
"It's definitely helping me develop a lot," she said.
"It's a big step up in terms of how organised they are and just the size of the girls you're now versing, it's a different structure altogether."
That structure was on full display in Canberra on Saturday. The Brumbies got off to a rollicking start, with two tries to Krystal Fife and Rebecca Smyth in less than ten minutes to lead 14-0.
The Force rebounded soon after with a try on the right wing to Ariana Hira-Herangi, which went unconverted.
Wallaroos legend Louise Burrows took advantage of some fantastic mauling from the Brumbies to crawl over the line in the 20th minute for a 21-5 lead at half time.
The home side added a try and a penalty goal in a much tighter second half, while the Force managed one more unconverted try, to finish the match at 29-10.
Being in a position to watch performances such as this, particularly with stars of the game such as Burrows and under the guidance of experienced coaches such as Adam Butt and Ash Mewburn, a former Brumby, will be beneficial for Ash's development.
"I'm learning so much from different coaches, learning how to properly learn how to play 15s, I hadn't really played much of that," Ash said.
"And being still in school and only 17, I've still got so much to improve on, but I'm learning so much. My game is changing a lot already."
With only two years of rugby under her belt, Ash's myriad experience in a number of other sports, including rowing and touch football, no doubt contributed to the speed with which the youngster has taken to union.
"I played my first proper season in year ten, so two years ago," Ash said.
"And before that I'd only played a few carnival games."
The Brumbies will next take on the Melbourne Rebels at Mars Stadium on February 22 from 12.15pm.
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