WHEN Cecilia Smith was just a young girl, she never dreamed she would one day be stepping out onto the field to represent Australia.
However, that is now a reality for Smith, who calls Leeton her home. Born in Samoa, Smith moved to Leeton with her family when she was a teenager.
Sport was always a passion, she played league tag with the Leeton Greens and women's rugby union with the Dianas and Leeton Phantoms.
Her talent was above and beyond, always known to be playing with a big smile on her face.
Smith's skills didn't go unrecognised, but it took plenty of hard work and grit to be where she is now - an Australian Wallaroos team member who is about to represent at the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand.
The women's rugby union World Cup will be a huge affair over the ditch, with Smith currently in a training camp to prepare.
Last week she was back in Leeton to spend time with family and friends before setting out on one of her biggest adventures yet.
Smith, who lives in Queensland now, also made time to train with the Dianas and Phantoms, with the club holding a special event in her honour to wish her all the best for the upcoming tournament.
Smith, who typically plays in the centre, is also a Queensland Reds player and a mother-of-one.
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She said it was a juggle sometimes, balancing life with a young daughter, full-time work and being a professional sportswoman.
Smith's selection in the Australian side came earlier this year and she has since played in several matches representing her country.
"I honestly could not believe it when I was selected, it's what you work towards, but I was in a bit of shock," Smith said.
"It's something I am so proud of. You put in a lot of hard work and effort to get there, so I guess it's a bit of a reward for that.
"I'm so excited for the World Cup.
"It's going to be a tough competition, but I think we will hopefully go okay. We have some really fantastic players in our side."
Smith thanked the Leeton community for its ongoing support of her sporting career, saying she will never forget her time playing here.
The World Cup will be played throughout October, with Australia's first match on October 8 against New Zealand.
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