It's not every day the student gets to bark orders at the teacher, but 17-year-old Grace Kemp might have to in the ACT Brumbies Super W opener next Saturday.
Canberra Girls Grammar teenage sensation Kemp is expected to make her Brumbies debut alongside 40-year-old hooker Louise Burrows, who teaches at the same school.
Kemp wasn't even born when Burrows first pulled on the ACT jumper more than two decades ago, and she said it was a dream come true to play for the Brumbies alongside one of her idols.
"It is a bit weird she's a teacher at school, but I learn so much from her, and she’s one of my role models, so it’s great to finally play with her," Kemp said.
"I’ve been looking up to her for about three years now because she's a Royals senior and I’m a junior. I've watched most of her games, so it's amazing to play alongside her."
Harden Red Devils export Kempt has been going to Brumbies games with her family since she was a child and admits she never thought she'd get to represent the famous club.
"It means so much to me, I used to come over and watch the men play with my dad and brothers, and it's just amazing to be able to run out in this jersey and represent the state," Kemp said.
"I've always been a rugby fan, and I was about five when I went to my first Brumbies game, my family loves it. My dad and brothers all played but never at this level.
"I didn't think I'd be wearing this jersey one day, but here I am. I played a curtain raiser at Canberra Stadium when I was younger and always wanted to do it again so I can't wait for round one."
The Brumbies host NSW Women in a double-header at Canberra Stadium on February 23 and Burrows backed Kemp to thrive from her first minute of Super W.
"Gracie, with her size and strength at 17, if she's kept in a program like the Brumbies she could really develop into a mature rugby player at a very young age," Burrows said.
"Coming from Royals she has a little bit of experience already because there didn't use to be a girl's junior competition, give her a few years and she could be playing Wallaroos."
"I’m excited to play with the new young girls coming through. Hopefully, I can mentor them, and it's also great for the students at Girls Grammar to have strong female role models like myself and Gracie."
Kemp admits there will be butterflies heading into the NSW clash but is confident she can't start her career with a bang and eventually follow in the footsteps of veteran Wallaroo Burrows.
"I’m pretty nervous, but I can't wait. I’ve got all these girls alongside me who will be able to pick me up and talk to me during the game and keep me going," Kemp said.
"I’d love to be able to pull on the Australian jersey and play for the country one day, but I feel like this is my first level, and we’ll see where it takes me. There's so much to learn and it’s just amazing to be here."
SUPER W TAKE TWO
BRUMBIES SQUAD: Peta Cox, Rachele Brown, Louise Burrows, Biola Dawa, Harriet Elleman, Ngawai Eyles, Jane Garraway, Brooke Gilroy, Carly Hill, Jess Howard, Jacky Lyden, Grace Kemp, Sharyn Laws, Michaela Leonard, Peremo Marsh, Kristie Mathews, Sammy Maxwell, Emily McDonald, Irene Macarthur, Michelle Milward, Claudia Obst, Georgia O'Neill, Paige Penning, Michelle Perry, Darcy Reed, Emoly Sogal, Tayla Stanford, Stefanie Stewart-Jones, Violeta Tupuola, Remi Wilton, Lanieta Yabaki, Sammie Wood. Coach: Adam Butt.
SUPER W DRAW
February 23: Brumbies v NSW at Canberra Stadium, 5pm.
March 3: Brumbies v Rebels at Seiffert Oval, 3pm.
March 16: Queensland v Brumbies at Ballymore, 5pm.
March 24: Rugby WA v Brumbies at Wanneroo Rugby Club, 4pm.