Millie Boyle has given the Jillaroos' program and women's rugby league a tick of approval by declaring her commitment to the game for the foreseeable future.
Boyle has become one of the best forwards in the women's game after switching to rugby league in 2019 after having represented the Wallaroos over a three-year period.
The 22-year-old was among several players who had to decide their short-term futures this season with the World Cups for both codes scheduled around the same time.
While the postponement of the Rugby World Cup last month made the decision easier for Boyle, the Broncos prop told NRL.com a decision had already been made.
"If both World Cups were going ahead and it got to a point where I had to choose, I was committing to rugby league," Boyle said.
"I wouldn't say I'm completely done with rugby because I really enjoy the opportunities available but for this year I decided early I wanted to commit to league and see where it took me."
Boyle is one of a few cross-code players who have come to the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership and made a sudden impact. She claimed Rebel's Rookie of the Year in her maiden season.
Her NSW Origin teammate, Kennedy Cherrington, took out 2020's equivalent award after also switching from codes.
Defy impossible: The chase
"I think for a lot of part-time athletes in the women's game who play other codes they are the same and like to keep things open," Boyle said.
"A lot of things can change quickly but with more opportunities on offer a lot of girls and if the competition expands over the next few years it might entice others to play as well."
Despite enjoying two premiership triumphs at the Broncos over the past two seasons, Gold Coast-based Boyle said Queensland was worthy of a second team in the NRLW.
"If you take away who I play for now and just look at it from an outside perspective you're essentially coming up against an Origin-like team when you play the Broncos," Boyle said.
"The Broncos have much of Queensland to pick their team from and have that inside running straight away.
"In NSW, you've got either the Dragons or Roosters so there's a split there. It would definitely even things up in terms of talent."
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Boyle finished her 2020 campaign with a badly broken nose that required a reconstruction after a brutal head clash with Burleigh teammate Tazmin Gray in women's State of Origin last year.
Fans were stunned at Boyle's ability to stand up and play the ball after the incident, admiring her toughness.
"My singing career is over because I can't breathe through my nose anymore," Boyle joked.
"I'll need plastic surgery when I retire. Blake Ferguson actually reached out when it happened and told me to wait, otherwise, it could just happen again. That's what he's going to do, too."
Howard targets City-Country return
NSW halfback Mel Howard hopes to be back on the paddock next month after missing the first half of the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership this season with a shoulder injury.
Howard injured her AC joint during the pre-season and is in the middle of a 2-3 month rehabilitation program.
It's not the first time she has defied the pain barrier.
Scans also revealed the high school teacher played with a torn ligament in her thumb during her State of Origin debut last November after picking the injury up in the NRLW grand final.
"They thought I needed surgery but I've gotten away with it, which I got lucky there because that would've been the season," Howard said of her latest shoulder injury.
"I got tackled in a sevens game and landed on my shoulder awkwardly. It was pretty painful and I got an MRI a couple of days later and it came up I tore three ligaments."
Howard plans to return ahead of the City-Country match in late May that will act as a selection trial for NSW coach Kylie Hilder to select her Origin side.
Women salute to league icon
Channel Nine commentator Allana Ferguson was among a host of past and present women's rugby league players to express their condolences following the death of Tommy Raudonikis on Wednesday.
Opposing women's State of Origin captains Ali Brigginshaw and Kezie Apps shared Instagram stories saluting Raudonikis' legacy before former NSW player Ferguson shared an image of the pair that will be cherished forever.
Prince has Valleys ready for action
Scott Prince's Valleys Diehards make their debut in the BHP Premiership this weekend when they travel to Cairns to play the Gold Stars in their season opener at Barlow Park.
Diehards centre Meg Ward is one of four current Broncos in the line-up, which will be led by Jillaroos star Ali Brigginshaw.
"Princey has been amazing, he creates such a good culture and is a very knowledgable coach," Ward said.
"We've got a good bunch of girls and are really excited for this season. It's been hard watching the NSW competitions already start in NSW so we're itching to get out on the field."
In the other matches, defending champions Burleigh will clash against Brisbane Tigers, while West Brisbane will host the Central Queensland Capras.
The new-look Tweed Seagulls, who will be captained by Kiwi Ferns leader Georgia Hale, face the Valkyries - a 'Barbarians'-styled team that will be selected each week from a range of fringe players across various BHP squads.
Wests Tigers to start quadruple-header
The Wests Tigers' Harvey Norman NSW Premiership team will be part of the club's epic four-game schedule at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
The Tigers were defeated in a last-start showing against Helensburgh with Jillaroos star Jess Sergis proving too hard to handle with four tries.
This week's opponents, St Mary's, sit above the joint venture on the ladder. Kick-off at 10:30am.
The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.