Ash Hewson was the sole point scorer for the Wallaroos recent trans-Tasman Test against the Black Ferns in New Zealand, and now the national captain has been named the Women’s XVs Player of the Year.
A talented flyhallf, Hewson also skippered Sydney Uni to its second consecutive national championship earlier this year, scoring a massive 45 points for her side through the competition
Hewson was the clear winner on the night but was quick to heap the credit onto her teammates, speaking of her pride in the young squad after a challenging series.
“We’re a little disappointed by our results over in New Zealand,” she said.
“But every single person on that field just gave 110 per cent and at the end of the day as a captain of any group of women, that’s all you can ask for.”
The Wallaroos took on the Black Ferns ahead of the final Bledisloe earlier this month, suffering a record 67-3 but their improvement shone through just four days later, in a 29-3 loss.
Hewson said that the Wallaroos’ progress over such a short period was testament to the squad’s determination and drive.
“To make that amount of improvement in such a short time, in just four days, shows what we are capable of,” she said.
“The results were a lot better and we showed people what we’re actually able to achieve when we have a little bit more time together.”
The two-Test series was the Wallaroos’ first in two years and Hewson said it had given them some invaluable lessons ahead of the 2017 Women’s World Cup in Ireland.
“Any Test match experience is going to stand you in good stead going into something as massive as the World Cup,” she said.
“Playing these Test matches in New Zealand, playing the best in the world with that kind of physicality, it really opened the eyes up to the girls about what is actually needed to compete at that level.”
Under the guidance of head coach Paul Verrell, the Wallaroos squad will be undergoing a rigorous fitness regime in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup.