Sevens, Wallaroos tug-of-war begins for Alysia Lefau-Fakalosilea
A tug-of-war between the Wallaroos and Australia's rugby sevens program is looming for the services of teenage sensation Alysia Lefau-Fakalosilea.
The breakout star of the Brisbane Tens, Lefau-Fakalosilea was Queensland's best player in their Super W opening defeat to the NSW Waratahs on Saturday.
While she didn't get much of a sniff in attack, the 17-year-old schoolgirl's bone-rattling hits in defence and fearless attitude cemented her status as one of the brightest rugby talents in the country.
She isn't eligible to represent Australia just yet - Lefau-Fakalosilea was born in New Zealand to Samoan and Tongan parents but has applied for her citizenship.
Whenever it's granted, she'll have to make a call as to which version of the sport she sticks with.
Wallaroos coach Dwayne Nestor reckons she's already done enough to merit an international call-up.
But a long stint in sevens, where Lefau-Fakalosilea has already signed a development contract, appears inevitable given the Olympic sport's stronger financial lure and fully professional set-up.
In contrast, Wallaroos players only receive match payments of $1000.
However, Nestor said there was no reason why she couldn't follow the likes of Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams and jump between both sevens and 15s.
"The media's going to be all over her," Nestor told AAP.
"But she's such a humble, level-headed kid... that is gold when it comes to elite athletes.
"I think in the women's game especially, there's more capability for the sharing of talent to a degree.
"If the Wallaroos can get their hands on her, I'd be more than happy to have her involved in the program at some stage."
Nestor believes women's 15-a-side rugby is on the path to professionalism in Australia but there appears to be a long way to go to match five-time world champions New Zealand, who unveiled their professional program on Monday.
But if Australia's bid to host the 2021 World Cup is approved, it could be a massive lure for Lefau-Fakalosilea and another youth sevens star from Super W's opening round, Western Force winger Courtney Hodder.
Hodder, also 17, scored six tries against the Melbourne Rebels - four of them inside the first 25 minutes.
"You look at the likes of Alysia and Courtney... without getting too far too early, they could be playing in a home World Cup as 20, 21-year-olds," Nestor said.