Queensland Maroons 2018 debutant Meg Ward.

Ward out to create her own Broncos path with backing of Renouf

Right from her childhood Meg Ward was destined to pull on a Brisbane Broncos jersey.

Not because it was her favourite NRL team, or her obvious sporting talent.

The 24-year-old had a rugby league icon just one phone call away.

"I grew up with Steve Renouf and his family," Ward told NRL.com.

"We used to go camping at Easter, I started following the Broncos through him. We'd head down to the local footy club and watch all the boys play.

"On a Friday night and Saturday that was the place to be. I grew up with that."

Not a bad way to grow up if you're looking to learn the game of rugby league. The Renouf and Ward families are close with Steve good mates with Meg's father Warwick.

Ward has had a rapid rise in the women's game with an Origin debut and World Cup victory within the space of 12 months.

Meg Ward in training with Queensland.
Meg Ward in training with Queensland. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

She also captained the newly-included Australian Defence Force side at the Harvey Norman National Championships in June after only taking up rugby league in 2016.

Her latest challenge is developing her game in the centre role after marking star NSW centre Isabelle Kelly, who scored two tries to set up the Blues' victory in the inaugural Holden State of Origin clash in June.

"There's so much that I took out of it that I can practice and work on," Ward said of the experience.

"Lots of little things that I chose to do in the game, I could have gone the other option. That's all learning, there's no one out there that can't get better."

It comes as no surprise Renouf is likely to play a key role in Ward's development as a centre over the coming years.

The former Broncos legend scored 142 tries in 183 appearances at the club.

"He was one of the best in the world," Ward said.

"I just remember going around to his house and watching footage with him and his family, he'd have Broncos stuff in his man cave with a bar. It was a footy haven.

"He's been in contact with me, he's such a lovely guy and for me looking forward to be given that role as a centre, I'll get whatever advice I can from him."

Renouf recalled his "man cave" as a place in the house where he kept his memorabilia and a highlights reel of his greatest hits and memories.

"I had a highlights video and I used to show it to my younger boys, and the kids probably showed Meg," Renouf said.

"She used to come and play touch as a young kid with her dad Warwick and I on Wednesday nights at Samford.

"Meg was a good soccer player too and I actually thought she was going to play for the Matildas. She was talented across the board.

"It is just great she is going to be playing for Brisbane. She grew up knowing I had come through at the Broncos and it makes me feel really proud of what she has achieved."