WHEN Mardi Watts lived in Bathurst she was an undisputed star of the Premier League Hockey competition, but now it is a different sport in which she is impressing.
The former Bathurst City premiership winner was this week named in the 30-player New South Wales rugby union squad ahead of the inaugural Super W season.
Watts plays her club rugby for the Warringah Ratettes – the most successful outfit in the history of the Sydney Women’s Rugby Competition.
Just as her speed when playing hockey made her an attacking weapon, the same goes when she pulls on her football boots.
Last season she scored five tries in the regular season playing on the wing for the Ratettes and she was a member of the starting 15 which beat Sydney University 21-17 on grand final day to claim the Jack Scott Cup.
Watts was also named the most improved member of the women’s side at the club’s presentation night.
But now an even bigger honour beckons for Watts as she looks to compete in Australian rugby's new female competition when it kicks off in March.
The NSW side will be coached by Rob Baumann, who mentored Watts at Warringah last season. His state squad includes Wallaroos Ashleigh Hewson, Grace Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Chloe Leaupepe and Alexandra Sulusi.
The five-team, 15-a-side competition offers talented females like Watts another pathway to the elite level.
“The Super W is obviously a great concept for the girls, it puts a lot more professionalism into place for them,” Baumann.
“It’s certainly a great step forward for the women’s game and hopefully it keeps progressing from here.
“It’s a fantastic initiative, and one of the advantages that rugby union has over all other codes is that it has an established pathway.
“This really is the icing on a cake that has undertaken a lot of work to get to where it is today in the inordinate growth and success of women’s rugby in the last few years. It’s been capped off by a fully-fledged Super W competition and we are 100 per cent supportive of the growth.
“We’ve got a really good blend of experienced players and youth and I’m pretty excited for what lies ahead.”