Ahead of the rescheduled NRL Telstra Women's Premiership, NRL.com profiles the next crop of talent ready to make their mark in 2022.
- Name: Lauren Dam
- Age: 25
- NRLW club: Titans
- Position: Wing/Centre
Titans recruit Lauren Dam first caught the eye of coach Jamie Feeney during the Harvey Norman National Championships in May last year when she was crowned the fittest competitor in the open's division.
The army medic was representing the Australian Defence Force at the carnival, a pathways team that has seen the likes of Julia Robinson, Meg Ward and Talesha Quinn go on to achieve higher honours in recent years.
Part of the Championships included pre-testing with Dam standing out in the 30-15, agility test and vertical jump.
"I got a bit lucky because at the time I was in the right physical fitness with training and playing because I had just been through a work program and a season with the Wests Brisbane Panthers," Dam told NRL.com.
"I got a phone call a few days later from Feens. It was out of the blue, I was aware of who he was but had never spoken to him before.
"I jumped at the opportunity. It's just exciting to be part of the inaugural team at the Titans, I can't wait to start training and want to push to get a spot in the team."
Dam scores a double against the Seagulls
Dam grew up in the coastal town of Sawtell in NSW before being sent south to Albury for army training.
It was there she began to get more heavily involved in team sports related to rugby league.
"I played a lot of OzTag, touch footy and league tag. Dad used to play for Balmain so I support the Wests Tigers, it's a bit of a family connection," she said.
"I didn't take league on properly until I got posted to Brisbane, so I joined the Panthers in the local competition.
"I just chase that adrenaline, you want to play that faster game. I just go out and play hard."
Dam is one of 13 players in line for an NRLW debut at the Titans in 2022 with the speedy outside back, who scored seven tries in seven games in the BHP Premiership, likely to push for higher honours in the future.
"I'm expecting it to go to another level so I'm nervous but excited at the same time," Dam said.
"It's a good pathway to go through the ADF, we're given a lot of opportunities."