The road for Jillaroo hopeful Shontelle Stowers hasn't been easy
Shontelle Stowers trialled in two Talent ID days during her stint in rugby union and credits it for her own personal rise and the unearthing a host of new talent in the rival code.
The four inaugural women's NRL premiership sides will be hoping for a similar result when on-the-cusp hopefuls trial at Runaway Bay on May 31.
Applications for the one-day trial closed on Monday with an overwhelming response of close to 500 registrations.
The female pathways team now have the difficult task of trimming the number down to 150 athletes.
"There is a lot of talent out there that is unseen and a lot that are shy and are too shy to take the professional path," Stowers told NRL.com.
"I feel like I've had a good run through with sport and those Talent ID days are beneficial for both a code and athlete to find out where they stand."
A former international rugby union convert, Stowers is a fresh face in the elite women's top 40 squad vying for a contract at an NRL club in September, along with a goal of representing the Jillaroos at season's end.
But her journey to represent Australia in sport never came easy.
Stowers was born and raised in New Zealand until she was 21. Her mum continues to reside there and she's still got her Kiwi accent.
But to show just how serious she was to change allegiances, to represent the Wallaroos, Stowers was forced to sit out the 15-player code for three years at an elite level to validate her move to the green and gold.
"I love New Zealand, but I also love Australia because since I have been here they've adopted me, given me so many opportunities in life so I really don't turn my back to either, I sing both national anthems with pride," Stowers said.
"And both countries provide great competition to each other, the rivalry in any sport is insane. I'm going to be in Australia long-term and I was happy with my decision.
"It was a matter of I had my head down and I was playing a lot of sport in New Zealand. Suddenly I put my head up and thought what else could I be doing. My brothers were in Australia, I've always been close with them and have a good relationship there so thought it was time for a change."
Almost a decade on and the 31-year-old has her sights on becoming a dual international.
Stowers will line up in the centres for the NSW City side at the National Championships in June with a goal to play in the women's State of Origin three weeks later.
"I feel like union was my first love and will always be. I enjoyed every minute for it and wouldn't change a thing. But the environment I'm in now with the girls in rugby league – it's amazing," Stowers said.
"Everyone is elite but also very real people doing their best and well at it. That's a very nourishing environment to be in. It is competitive because we all want a position but that only lifts everyone."