As the Buildcorp Wallaroos side continues to prepare for a monumental 2022 season rugby.com.au and Wallaroos naming rights partner Buildcorp went behind the scenes to show a side of the players' fans don’t normally get to see.
Walgett grown Arabella McKenzie has had a stellar 2021 season claiming both Waratahs player of the year and Buildcorp Player of the Final in the Buildcorp Super W competition in Coffs Harbour. Having already debuted for the Buildcorp Wallaroos, McKenzie looks now to solidify her spot in the starting team in 2022 playing in either the Fullback or Fly-half position.
Name: Arabella McKenzie
DOB: Jan 3, 1999
Super W: NSW Waratahs
Club: Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club
What does it mean to you to be a Buildcorp Wallaroo?
It is a huge honour to be able to represent my country at the highest level. I grew up wanting to play rugby for Australia and to have fulfilled that dream makes me feel extremely proud and want for more.
Is there a past or present player that you model your game after?
I like to think I am my own player, but I love the way Beauden Barrett plays the game with a run first mentality and then look to his outside options.
What are you keen to get better at before New Zealand next year?
There is always room for improvement and no one is ever the "complete" player. I want to improve my kicking and passing and game driving to a high standard.
What legacy do you want leave on the Buildcorp Wallaroos jersey?
I want to leave the jersey in a better place for the next girl behind me. I hope that little girls who look up to us see hard-working and determined women who never gave up in the face of adversity.
Who are some of your favourite Buildcorp Wallaroo teammates and why?
I love Sera Naiqama and Emily Chancellor. First of all I met Chance in 2017 playing Uni 7s for Macquarie, I was in year 12 at school and I thought she was really cool and she actually forgot my name at one training session and had to ask me again what my name was. Really embarrassing for me. However she is always someone I looked up to coming through the ranks. She is always there for me no matter how big or small the problem is and she is just such a good time. Sera off the field is one of my favourite Buildcorp Wallaroos because she is so kind-hearted and generous, and I just think she is a great human. We also know how to have a good time together.
Which player in our squad should we look out for next year and why?
I think Maya Stewart when she finally debuts (thanks COVID) she is so strong and fast when she has the ball in hand so watch out for her on the right wing.
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If you were stuck on an island and could only bring three things what would they be and why?
I think a knife would be useful to take first, I’d also want my laptop and wifi box so I can watch TV. Then I’d bring a lighter so I can make a fire and cook fish (I actually hate seafood so I don’t think I will last long on an island)