Imagine playing basketball all your life and having only a season of rugby league under your belt, but on Saturday afternoon you will run out on to Canberra Stadium in the Brumbies jersey to play your first match of Super W rugby.
For Michaela Leonard, that scenario is actually a reality.
After months of hard work, Michaela Leonard will run out with her Brumbies teammates on to Canberra Stadium against the Queensland Reds for their first Super W match.
“It is a pretty crazy feeling just thinking about putting the jersey on for the first time and getting out there and having people watching it and having it on TV. It is going to be pretty crazy and really exciting as well,” Leonard said.
“It is pretty exciting being one of the first ones in the first game. Coming into trial games we have started pulling things together and the past few weeks training has been getting better so it will be good to be out there for our first game, and seeing how we all work together and hopefully, we put on a good show.”
The Canberra side is not too worried about results and table places, with the inaugural Super W season aiming to promote women’s rugby and celebrate the amazing talent that exists in Australia.
The Super W season will be a round-robin competition with teams from Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
As part of a new era for women’s rugby across the globe, the game, which is being played before the Brumbies Super Rugby game against the Sharks, will see the Brumbies Women pitted against a strong Queensland side which impressed many on their way to a win at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
Having played basketball for most of her life, Leonard is fairly inexperienced to rugby union and has experienced a big learning curve, but she believes her fresh look at it all and a bit of a hard drive will help the Brumbies on Saturday afternoon.
Playing at lock, Leonard only became involved in the Brumbies set-up after her teammates suggested she play in the Sevens tournament last year.
“Last year I played league with a lot of the girls who previously played Brumbies, and when Sevens came around last year with the Brumbies, they sort of roped me in to come give it a try. So I went through that and I really enjoyed it. And then 15s came around so I decided to give that a try as well.”
Learning union’s confusing rules has been Leonard’s biggest test ahead of her first game.
“It has been a bit of a struggle. It is something I learn each training and it’s really good having some of our more experienced Wallaroos girls there as well, particularly having a few that play the same position as me and being able to help me through and giving me that a little bit of extra insight into it.”
The Brumbies have a special ticket offer for Super W this Saturday, 17 March where between 4.50-5.20 pm you can purchase a ticket at the door for just $5.
Saturday 17 March 2018
Brumbies Women v Queensland Women
GIO Stadium, 17:00
1. Anna Korovata
2. Louise Burrows
3. Peta Cox
4. Charlene Gubb
5. Michaela Leonard
6. Shellie Milward
7. Georgia O’Neill
8. Tayla Stanford
9. Jane Garraway
10. Ashley Kara
11. Kiahan Bellchambers
12. Samantha Wood
13. Paremo Marsh
14. Talei Wilson
15. Michelle Perry
16. Emerena Aviga
17. Brittney-Lee Bedford
18. Merrin Starr
19. Jessica Howard
20. Skye Churchill
21. Remi Wilton
22. Cecilia Smith
23. Kiara Meredith-Brown