ULLADULLA United product Tara Rudd will once again get the chance to represent her state, after being named in the NSW Combined High Schools CX1 side, which will compete at Maitland next week.
The journey to the sky blue uniform for Rudd, who represented ACT/NSW Country at the under 15s Australian Championships in 2019, started in November in Gerringong at the South Coast trials.
After her third selection in the South Coast side, alongside fellow Ulladulla High School student Sarah Wheeler, Rudd's side headed to Bathurst.
At the CHS tournament, South Coast played six games (two 40 overs and four 20 over fixtures), which resulted in them finishing fifth overall.
"I scored a mixed amount of runs, with 41 being my top score for the tournament," Rudd said.
"I was fortunate enough to be the wicketkeeper for the South Coast team - it was a shared position with one of my teammates from Queanbeyan.
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"It has always been a dream of mine to wicket keep in a carnival - it was an honour.
"At the end of tournament presentation, I received the most amount of dismissals award for wicketkeeping, which came as a surprise."
On the back of this strong play, the 16-year-old was selected in her first NSW schools side.
"At the presentation, I was originally selected in the CX2 side," she said.
"This was amazing and I felt very proud to represent the South Coast.
"But one week after the CHS tournament, I received a phone call from Dane Stevenson - a coach who's very knowledgeable and always given me a lot of confidence.
"He said a team member in the CX1 had to withdraw and I was offered the position, which I gratefully took this opportunity with both hands.
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"I am very excited to play with teammates Hayley Silver Holmes, Alisha Bates, Stella Campbell, Lara Graham, as well as fellow South Coast products Jade Allen and Isabella Grieg."
While in Maitland, all-rounder Rudd and her team will play in a four-day tournament, as a way to showcase their skills and aim to be selected in the NSW All Schools side.
"I am in the CX1 side for experience and it will be a challenge to make the NSW All Schools side this year for me - it more of a goal to make it in future years," she said.
Rudd, who has also been playing with Campbelltown in Sydney, will begin training with the Greater Illawarra Zone Academy after Easter, to prepare for the country championships later in the year.