When Jacqui Jones found out that she had been selected to represent Australia for the fifth time, she really needn't have been surprised.
The Gunnedah resident has long made it clear that she is one of the best Oztag players going around, and won her second Tag World Cup last year with the national team in Limerick, Ireland.
Nonetheless, when the 2024 Australian mixed seniors side was announced, Jones was once again taken aback to see her name on the list.
"It still comes as a surprise," she said.
"I'm getting older, and the people in my team are getting younger. In senior mixed, the women can be 30, and I'm closer to 40 than 30 so it definitely still is a surprise."
Jones was selected for the side based on her performances for the Northern Rangers at the National Championships in Coffs Harbour in August.
The teams named this year will compete in the Australian Invitational Challenge scheduled to take place in August.
Jones has previously played in the challenge and expects that experience to help this year.
But, although she knows several of her teammates well by this point given their previous campaigns together, she is still awestruck by them occasionally.
"You know what to expect from the players in the team as well, because you've played with them a few times," Jones said.
"It's still very overwhelming, these people are very talented. So I still have to pinch myself sometimes."
Being part of an Australian team that only plays a handful of times a year poses its own challenges. The Tagaroos sides only meet "a couple of times", Jones said, and obviously can't train together regularly.
So, she said, she relies on her time with the Gunnedah Bulldogs' league tag side to stay fit and keep her skills sharp.
Luckily, the Bulldogs women allow Jones to train at a more than sufficient standard.
"If some of the girls in my team went over and played Oztag for a bit, I reckon they'd definitely be [in Australian colours] too," she said.
At 38, Jones is still fast and possesses remarkable balls skills to go with her vast knowledge of the game.
But she knows she is nearing the end of her sporting career, and intends to make the most of it while she can.
"Sometimes I think age is just a number," Jones said.
"But it is definitely becoming more tiring, and I don't want to be a person that stays around for longer than they should. Potential retirement's definitely on the cards in the next few years, I think."