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Caitlin Moran.

She was once flocked by her Jillaroos teammates after slotting a 79th minute World Cup field goal but that moment must feel like an eternity ago for injured star Caitlin Moran.

After the Jillaroos' tournament triumph at the end of 2017 the 22-year-old had the 2018 season all planned out. She agreed to join the Broncos for the inaugural NRLW competition, wanted to play for NSW in the first stand alone fixture under the State of Origin banner and make a spot in the Jillaroos backline her own.

Moran's first steps included relocating from Newcastle to Brisbane. But in one of her first games playing for club team Queensland-based side Souths Logan, it all came crashing down.

The dreaded three letters no athlete wants to hear: ACL.

"I was a wreck," Moran told

"I've been playing since I was six. You go from playing every weekend and being around a team environment to just a complete stop sitting there doing nothing.

"It was tough, I had to move back home because of mental issues. I wasn't coping very well and needed that support network."

The Broncos announced their intentions to honour Moran's contract despite there being no chance of her playing in the NRLW in their title-winning year.

Caitlin Moran in action at the 2017 World Cup.
Caitlin Moran in action at the 2017 World Cup.

She was employed by the club to work on an education traineeship, something that kept her connected to the Broncos until she decided to move back to NSW.

"It's tough to have a girl move interstate and within six weeks she snaps her ACL. I didn't want to be a liability but they were nothing but supportive," Moran said.

"I had to get home and be around my support network, no disrespect to everyone in Queensland, they did everything they could to keep me there.

"I love the Broncos, some of them still keep in touch with me regularly."

Moran also found another ally in Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis. The pair regularly cross paths through family ties.

"Greg and I had a chat a week after it happened. We're pretty close and the main thing he said was to take the time to recover," Moran said.

Rabbitohs centre Greg Inglis.
Rabbitohs centre Greg Inglis. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"To give your body some care and not rush the return because other people might want you to get back as soon as you can."

Moran has returned to the Hunter and is finalising a release from club side Penrith Brothers to link with CRL Newcastle under former NRL coach Rick Stone.

The competition is taking a two-week break over Easter with Moran aiming for a return to the game in round seven on April 27.

That leaves the former Jillaroos playmaker with a month to prepare for the Harvey Norman National Championships before being in contention for a Blues recall on June 21.

She joined a Blues' training camp in March at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence.

"I'm back to full everything but it does take a fair while," she said.

"All of a sudden once you start doing good everything piles on. I'm not going to push it."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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