Women’s Ruby Sevens player Nicole Beck has been named Australia’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea this year.
This is the first time Australia and its neighbour New Zealand will compete in the Pacific region sporting event.
Beck, from Wollongong in NSW, is leading the Women's Rugby Sevens in the upcoming games scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital in July.
"I was just hoping to get selected for the team, so this was just an extra, bonus surprise," she told Australian media about being named captain.
The Rugby Sevens is fast gaining international experience, performing in the World Series with wins across both hemispheres and is set for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Beck says she is dedicated to keep improving.
"I was just hoping to get selected for the team, so this was just an extra, bonus surprise"
"We started playing union when the sevens was first introduced, now it's our fulltime job,” she said.
"It's our passion, our everything at the moment."
She has made a marked contribution to the Australia Women’s Seven’s growth since 2009 when she joined the team for the World Cup qualifiers in Samoa.
Her most noted achievement followed the next year when one try, one penalty and 11 conversions helped Australia secure third place at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup and led to a nomination for the 2010 IRB Women's Personality of the Year.
Seven forward and Kamilaroi woman Tanisha Stanton says she is proud of her team mate and that women are being better represented in a male-dominated game.
“It’s so exciting and you know, it’s another step as a women’s sport as well, which is really great.”
In another Australian first, National Indigenous Television, part of the SBS network, has been announced as the country's official broadcaster of this year’s games that begin on July 4. Watch the action broadcast on Channel 34 (free to air) and Channel 144 (Foxtel).