The return of "Superwoman" has lifted the Broncos for their grand final rematch with the Sydney Roosters with winger Julia Robinson to play her first game back from a badly broken leg.
Robinson was one of the stars of the Holden Women’s Premiership last season for Brisbane with her freakish finishing ability and tough carries but she broke her leg playing for Wests Panthers in the South East Queensland women’s competition.
There were doubts she would be back in the time for the NRLW kick-off but Brisbane fullback Chelsea Baker said her return had given the whole side a boost.
"I am super-excited for ‘Superwoman’ to get back out there and show us us some more of her fantastic abilities. She flies everywhere. She has got no brakes and she is just so good for the game," Baker said.
"We’ve been really pushing for Julia to get back and have been really supportive. There have been a lot of ups and downs for her but we have all made sure we get around her and make sure she is the best prepared mentally and physically as possible.
Robinson's rise from rookie to Jillaroo
"She didn’t know if she was going to be back because of the severity of the break. In the pre-season and the months after she did it she has been working so hard on her rehab, prehab and constantly working. She is so determined."
Robinson recorded an interview on video with the Broncos website which contains a clip of the day coach Kelvin Wright told her she was in the starting team for the Roosters clash in Melbourne on Saturday. The Brisbane winger’s joy at the news was unbridled.
Match: Broncos v Roosters
Round 2 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Initially Robinson thought she had just sprained her ankle when she suffered the injury in May but was soon on her way to hospital in an ambulance with two breaks in her leg and a dislocated ankle.
"I definitely thought that no club was going to take me because I was 50/50 and there was an opportunity to get another player who was equally as good to support the team," she said.
"I didn’t want to be hassle but I told coach Kelvin [Wright] that I would work my little bum off to get back. So when they gave me the call before I even started my rehab to say they wanted me to be part of the team I was kind of shocked.
"I thought they would wait longer to sign me. I am so grateful that they had the faith in me and wanted me to be part of the team even though there was a chance I might not play."
Robinson said her rehab journey had been a roller coaster and there had been moments where she wondered whether she would be back this year.
"With injuries you learn a lot about yourself and how you cope with the ups and downs. They are just the little stepping stones you have to take," she said.
"I feel like I am getting stronger than what I was before because I am so much more determined to come back bigger and better."