Tarryn Aiken's rugby league career started with a tantrum, was rebooted with a Facebook post and has now been rewarded with a mad dash into Jillaroos camp for a whirlwind international debut.
Aiken's first NRLW season with premiers Brisbane has been capped with a late call-up into the national squad for this weekend's World Cup Nines, following the withdrawals of Brittany Breayley and Tamika Upton on personal grounds.
The 20-year-old only returned to rugby league earlier this year after playing touch football through her teens and representing Australia's under 20s girls side in 2018.
Aiken told the Broncos website earlier this month how she had to throw a fit to get a start with Wyong Roos under 6s.
"Mum was taking my older brother to sign up and I was tagging along," Aiken said.
"I just chucked a tantrum because mum wasn't going to let me sign up for footy and I really wanted to because my brother was playing with all my cousins."
She has since moved north and starred for Tweed Heads Seagulls after spying a Facebook post calling for female players in the team's inaugural season, earning a Broncos contract after just seven games of senior rugby league.
Four games off the bench in Brisbane's successful NRLW premiership defence followed, before a shock call from Jillaroos coach Brad Donald on Monday afternoon.
"I was just sitting at home. It was pretty random, I wasn't expecting it," Aiken said on Tuesday.
"But I was really excited when he asked me.
"I pretty much had an hour from when I got off the phone to [Donald] to get ready and get ready and get to the airport, pack my bag, and then I came straight here to the airport and then trained this morning."
Aiken has had to put her psychology exams at Griffith University on hold to represent her country this weekend.
"I emailed them last night, I'll just defer it," she grinned.
"They'll sort it out. The sports college said they'll help me defer it so it's not officially done but... I have faith."
Aiken joins Brisbane teammates Millie Boyle, Julia Robinson and Ali Brigginshaw – who will co-captain the Jillaroos at the Nines alongside Kezie Apps.
"Tarryn had a terrific debut season with the Broncos this year and brings plenty of skill and speed across the field," Donald said.
"She’ll have plenty of experience around her and I’m looking forward to seeing our Australian women take on our competitors this Friday and Saturday at Bankwest Stadium."