Louise Burrows is on the verge of a record-equalling four Women’s World Cup campaign, and she can barely believe it.
The Wallaroos front rower was heartbroken just months ago after missing out on the initial squad, was still coming to terms with a late call-up en route to Canberra Airport on Monday morning.
Burrows has been a shadow player before, missing out on selection for the 2010 World CUp, and expected it would be the same this time around, but an injury to prop Evelyn Horomia changed all that.
“On Saturday morning I woke up to missed calls from (Wallaroos coach) Scott Allen,” he said.
“He said there was an injury to somebody and she’d have to have an MRI but wanted to tentatively know if I was available on Monday.”
It was a shock turn of events, coming just days after the reality of missing the tournament had begun to really sink in.
“Last week was really tough when the girls were leaving,” she said.
“I was excited to see social media posts but then too it was heartbreaking because I wasn’t there, and it was just sinking in that I wasn’t going.
“I ‘d come to terms with not being there, so to get that phone call, I thought, ‘Is this a dream?’, I’d just woken up and thought it almost feels like a fairytale.
“I’m so honoured and proud to be given this opportunity I’ll hold really close to my heart and I feel like for my family I can really make everybody who’s supported me really proud.”
A phone call to her boss and a discussion with her family were all formalities, as Burrows awaited official confirmation, which came on Sunday.
Though Burrows is one of the most passionate national representatives, she said there would be an extra edge to this campaign.
“I never take anything for granted and I really appreciate every opportunity to wear the green and gold but this for me will be even more special than ever before and I just feel like plenty of people will be riding the emotions for me,”
“I think they’ve felt the heartache over the last couple of months and a lot of people will be there celebrating this achievement achieving my fourth World Cup.
Burrows will arrive in Ireland just a day out from the Wallaroos’ sold-out opener against host nation Ireland, but expects to be in the selection mix for the second pool match, against France.
“When I’m there that’s when the emotions will really hit, it’s amazing to think that I’m going to be there with all those amazing players,” she said.
“The reason I enjoy rugby is because of the people I get to play with and I’m so fortunate to be able to standing side by side with them singing ntha national anthem in the green and gold.”
The Wallaroos open their World Cup campaign against Ireland on Thursday August 10, kicking off at 4am AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.