ONE of Tamworth's fastest-rising rugby sevens star has had her career fast-tracked with selection in the First Nations rugby sevens squad.
Tayla Styman, along with fellow Tamworth local Trent Taylor, was among a host of youngsters from across the region selected in the 133-strong squad to trial in Sydney in the coming weeks.
Each of the 46 females and 87 males selected in the squad will look to impress selectors in two trial matches during the weekend-long talent camp.
Styman said she was shocked to have been selected in the squad.
"To be honest, it was crazy when I found out I had been picked," Styman told the Leader.
"I'm just so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be included in the squad.
"I know not everyone is given this chance, so I am really grateful and excited."
Talent identification trials were held across regional Australia, and the 18-year-old said she had trialled in both Tamworth and Dubbo in a bid to impress selectors.
"I went down to Dubbo and, to be honest, it didn't go so well," she said.
"However, I think the trial in Tamworth went really well and I think that may have been what impressed the selectors enough to pick me.
"Either way, I am just so grateful."
A five-year veteran of rugby sevens, Styman has played a vital role in Pirates' Central North success this season.
"I first got into rugby sevens because my brother played," Styman said.
"But, I'm a really active person and I wanted to give it a go. From there, I really enjoyed the game and playing with Pirates, so it's been great."
The former Oxley High School student said aside from impressing selectors at the upcoming talent camp, she was determined to help Pirates succeed in the Central North finals.
"We have Barraba this weekend and then we are off to the finals," she said.
"Hopefully we can go pretty deep into the finals."