'The female Josh Dugan': There's more to Jayme Fressard than tattoos
She's been nicknamed by her teammates as the female version of Josh Dugan for her recent tattoo efforts and newly signed Brisbane Broncos winger Jayme Fressard wouldn't have it any other way.
Raised on the Central Coast of NSW, she is one of 15 marquee recruits the Broncos have announced for the NRL Holden Women's Premiership in September.
Her inclusion in the Brisbane set-up came as a surprise after the 21-year-old missed selection for NSW last month due to an influx of talent in the Blues backline.
But a solid series of performances for NSW Country was enough for Fressard to catch the eye of Broncos coach Paul Dyer at the Harvey Norman National Championship on the Gold Coast in May.
The tattoo obsession has only been around for a short time but her love for rugby league was there from a young age despite representing Australia in rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015.
"I was mainly a soccer player growing up but there wasn't a lot of sport for females to play. Once you hit that age it stopped, there were no other options for me," Fressard told NRL.com.
"I thought this was my chance to get into rugby league now when I could join my local club Berkeley Vale, I absolutely loved it and knew that's where I wanted to be."
Fressard has been on the cusp of NSW selection for three years, named 18th player in 2016 before succumbing to injury last season.
"I did my leg, snapped my quad muscle off the bone," Fressard said.
"I'd been out for about nine months. When I found out about the top 40 opportunity I was devastated because I hadn't played all of last year.
"But I just trained and did well with testing. It shows hard work pays off. These contracts are a bit of security but also keeps up your motivation throughout the year to maintain the standards. Every girl playing wants to be where you are so you have to fight for your position even if it is secured for now."
Away from the paddock, Fressard is a youth development worker at schools in Gosford – ironic given she joked it was an effort to ever attend her own schooling.
"I was a bit of a terror," she laughed.
"I did finish school though, I got there. Because of sport, I kept pushing through.
"I think students can relate to me that way. I know a few teachers panic when I go back there but I get along with them now so it's good."
Along with floating her time between schools, Fressard is a bartender at a local pub to help make ends meet.
She credits her mum for keeping her grounded after a troubled upbringing.
"Even when I went through some tough times Mum was always one to pull me back into line," Fressard said.
"The first one to take me to all my games and be on the sideline cheering. She gets tears in her eyes when I tell her I've made a squad. When I got an email to say I was in the top 40 I burst into tears and Mum started too. She feels my excitement and the rollercoaster of this game."
As for the tattoos, her leg sleeve took 28 hours to sit through following a recent trip to Bali – they detail her life and all have significant meanings.
"I actually don't mind that, if people want to refer to me as that," Fressard said, referencing the Dugan tattoo comparison.
"You get the image, even people in schools are like 'she's got a lot of tattoos', but then I get the kids to tell me how cool they are.
"I'm bubbly and energetic. I've got a good vibe and when you get to know me it's not just tattoos. I'd like to think I'm one of the nicest people you'll meet."