Brittany Breayley will enter Jillaroos camp on Friday determined to start fresh and reclaim the No.9 jersey after missing last year's international calendar.
The Jillaroos will assemble on the Gold Coast on Friday for their first squad gathering of the season with the 29-year-old expected to join her teammates for the three-day camp.
Breayley, the 2018 Dally M medallist, was at the peak of her game following Australia's World Cup win but the challenges of fitting in a part-time rugby league career with other commitments eventually caught up with her.
The ultimate setback came late in the season when she was called into Australia's World Cup Nines and Test match squads in October but withdrew citing personal reasons.
"I couldn't play because of work, having eight weeks off for the NRLW season it was hard to ask for another two," Breayley told NRL.com.
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"I couldn't take anymore leave so saying no to a green and gold jersey was hard and even more difficult to make the call to [Australian coach] Brad Donald.
"That might've been my last chance to pull on that jersey so it was a tough decision and I never took it lightly but in the end I needed to put food on the table so that was my priority."
Breayley knows her decision may see her move down the pecking order for future selection with Dragons teammate Keeley Davis replacing her at hooker last year.
Competition for spots is expected to heat up in 2020 with the World Cup just over 18 months away.
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"Keeley is such a great player and we're helping each other," Breayley said.
"It's a challenge to get that No.9 jersey back but at the end of the day if I'm not playing well then I don't think I deserve the jersey.
"I'm definitely feeling it (the pressure) but I would rather someone at their peak playing good footy over me if that's how it's going."
Breayley will play for Ipswich in the newly formed QRL Women's Premiership kicking off on March 14.
She'll then eye off playing in Origin on the Sunshine Coast before being available for the third edition of the Holden Women's Premiership.
"I challenge myself every year to be a better player and I've been working really hard in the off-season to get back into it," she said.
"Hopefully I can have a good season in the Brisbane competition and earn the green and gold jersey back especially with the World Cup coming up in 2021."