Hewson ready to rip in for Wallaroos

International
by Sam Phillips

A smarter, slicker Ashleigh Hewson is ready to lead the Wallaroos into tomorrow's blockbuster clash with England.

Prison guard by day, athlete by night, the 12-Test veteran is second to only halfback Cobie-Jane Morgan in the number of times she has pulled on the gold jersey and with that experience comes responsibility.

It's that experience, combined with a natural eye for the game and fearless disposition on field, that has earned her the captaincy.

"I'm someone that tries to lead by example," she told RUGBY.com.au.

"Which isn't difficult, with this group.The Wallaroos are ready to take on the might of England. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan Hertel"I always try 100 percent on the field and hope the girls are 100 percent behind me - which they always are.

"Especially with the amazing group of women we have got in this squad."

Hewson played flyhalf for the Australians last year - a year in which she was named Women's Player of the Year - but has shifted to fullback for tomorrow's clash, which is her preferred position.

"I do enjoy the space - I played there at nationals (for Sydney) and quite enjoy looking at what's in front of me and not having people run directly at me is always a good thing, especially when you get a bit older.

"I'm really looking forward to it and think it will be a great challenge."Hewson will steer the Wallaroos from the back tomorrow. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelBeing able to help her teammates from behind the defensive line is a challenge Hewson relishes, as she now considers herself a far better rugby mind than when she debuted against Samoa in 2009.

"I'm definitely a lot smarter around the paddock," she said.

"You get to know the game a lot better and that makes it a lot easier to play the game.

"You don't get overawed by things on the field and the more you play, that definitely makes it easier.

"But it's still an amazing experience to run out on the field and play for Australia."

The Wallaroos take on England in Wellington tomorrow morning, kicking off at 10:30am AEST, broadcast LIVE on worldrugby.com.

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