Mahalia Murphy looked at the veterans boasting a look of steely determination and the fresh-faced rookies hiding a case of butterflies. Every one of them dreaming of the same thing.
At that moment inside the AIS in Canberra, the Wallaroos fullback knew the call to postpone the World Cup can give them Australia's best chance at a breakthrough triumph.
The Wallaroos came together for a camp at the AIS this week in the wake of World Rugby's gut-wrenching decision to postpone the World Cup.
But it's a call 27-year-old dual international Murphy believes can work in the Wallaroos' favour.
Murphy has returned to the fold after an NRLW stint last year alongside a raft of other cross-code converts like Grace Hamilton and sevens stars Charlotte Caslick and Ellia Green.
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"We've got a bunch of girls who are new and young to the squad. It gives us more prep time, that's the positive out of the decision," Murphy said.
"That's going to work in our favour and give us more time to prepare and get game time under our belts. Obviously we've got Super W coming up which is very vital for us.
"It's exciting to see the young girls come through [Wallaroos camp] and the new girls come through with the experienced.
"It's the second time the girls have come together but it's my first time joining the girls because I was injured the first camp. It's exciting, and obviously a part of our preparation."
Five ACT Brumbies players were on hand for Wallaroos camp this week with Michaela Leonard, Michelle Milward, Tayla Stanford and rising stars Gabby Petersen and Grace Kemp chasing Test caps.
Officials are working to revamp the Wallaroos' schedule on the road to the World Cup, with a gap now opening up to play more games for the first time since 2019.
"We just want to play Test match footy, that's the biggest thing for us," Hamilton said.
"Anyone close, Fiji, Japan, I'd love to play the USA and Canada and teams like that, and also New Zealand. Hopefully that's on the cards, we've just got to work towards that.
"We were disappointed, we thought it was coming, but now we've just got to focus on what we can control. What we control is getting better as a team, and the more preparation we get, the better we will get.
"We've got to refocus our goals to a year later. We're keen to move forward."
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