‘I love Quade Cooper’: NZ-born flyhalf reflects on opportunity to represent Australia
For New Zealand-born Carys Dallinger, playing for the Black Ferns has always been “the goal.” But, at 23 years of age, the flyhalf has sworn her international rugby allegiance to rivals Australia.
Dallinger was sensational in the No. 10 jersey for the Queensland Reds in Super W this season, which included two clutch penalty goals in the thrilling semi-final win over the Brumbies in Sydney.
The flyhalf, who has also represented the Hurricanes in Super Rugby Aupiki, was set to return to New Zealand after the season – but instead, Dallinger received an intriguing phone call.
Before flying back to New Zealand as planned, Dallinger’s manager told her that her flights had been put on hold. As her manager explained, “I think you’re going to (Wallaroos) camp next week.”
That’s how the 23-year-old found out.
After receiving a phone call, Dallinger entered the Australian national set-up for the first time – and has been named to debut on Saturday.
Dallinger has been named as one of four potential debutants in the Wallaroo’s matchday 23 to take on the Fijiana at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Dallinger told reporters earlier this week.
“Dad was born here and then moved to New Zealand, and then my grandparents had another kid over in New Zealand. He lived here very briefly and we’ve all grown up in New Zealand. It was luck of the draw I guess.
“The Black Jersey was the goal obviously growing up in New Zealand but at the end of the day, international rugby is where I need to be, it doesn’t matter where.
“I’ve come in and felt really connected. The girls and the coaches have made me feel at home. I’ve really found a home here.”
When Dallinger makes her Test debut on Saturday, the flyhalf will follow in the footsteps of one of her rugby idols.
Just like famous Wallaby Quade Cooper – who was born in Auckland – Dallinger will don Aussie gold on the international stage.
“Quade Cooper is one of my favourite players, even before all of this stuff came about,” she added.
“I love Quade Cooper, both being 10s and both doing the same stuff. Love his side-step, love everything about him.
The Wallaroos will take on rivals the Black Ferns in Redcliffe next month, which could see Dallinger come up against some of her “friends” for the first time at Test level.
“I don’t know if I can quite put it into words because I haven’t thought too much about it. When I do think about it I get quite emotional because those are my friends and people I’ve grown up playing alongside.
“It’ll be quite different but I think you’ve got to play the best to be the best so it’ll be an experience in itself.”
The Wallaroos will take on Fiji at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium at 5.00pm AEST on Saturday.
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Gavin Hastings, was playing was he? 🤔Go to comments
Let Moana go and setup Timi Samoa and a Timi Tonga. I guarantee you that the support will be even stronger than that for the Fiji Drua. You only have to remember the support from The respective communities for Mate ma Tonga and Toa Samoa in Rugby League and also the national teams in Rugby Union. Both teams would be able to field teams equal to The Fiji drua or even better.Go to comments