Alice Masters may have been a late starter to rugby union, but it hasn’t stopped her from having an impact in the sport.
At 34, Masters has been named in the Melbourne Rebels Women’s side for the Super W competition for a second successive year.
Masters had no interest in the sport until a friend invited her to a training session about seven years ago.
“Western Districts, which is affiliated with Brimbank, Melton and Footscray clubs, started a team for women,” she said.
“When they started training, one of the girls mentioned it to me and I went down and had a look.
“I didn’t know much about it and it was the first time I had considered it.
“I found rugby union a pretty good fit for me and really enjoyed it.”
It was a tough first season for the Rebels, who didn’t win a game in the national competition.
Masters said it was a good experience which the side hoped to build on this year.
The competition starts on March 11 and the season runs for five weeks before finals.
Masters plays in the front row, usually as a prop.
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity again,” she said.
“I’m a bit older than a lot of the other girls. It was a good experience to play at that level.
“We didn’t win a game, but improved every match, which is more important.
“We want to keep on improving and continuing to learn. Hopefully we’ll have some massive improvements and maybe have some success.”
If Masters’ weekends weren’t busy enough, she also plays Australian Rules football for Melton Centrals.
With the sports generally played on different days, she said she could play both of them.
She said she appreciated the differences in the two sports.
“Rugby is different and a lot more strategic than AFL,” she said.
“Every person is matched to a certain position.
“Sometimes the contact is a bit heavier.
“I play rugby on Saturday and football on Sunday.
“Usually I pull up a bit sore, but a bit of recovery like ice baths and taking the dog for a walk helps.”
Masters said she planned to play both sports for as long as she could.
She said there were now a lot more opportunities for women.
“I’ve already represented Victoria at the masters for AFL and now they have a competition for players that are 30 plus.
“In rugby they have an annual masters competition. Hopefully we might see a competition in Melbourne in the future.”