Canberra recruit Adam Elliott reckons his partner, Broncos forward Millie Boyle, has the competitiveness to match it with any player in the NRL.
“She’s definitely a player I’d love to play alongside,” Elliott quipped.
In fact, after watching her produce a mammoth 213 metre effort against the Roosters last week – a record in the NRLW – he’s disappointed he won’t ever have the professional opportunity to.
Elliott and Boyle have been long-time childhood friends having grown up in the same region on the NSW south coast before they officially got together at the end of last year.
Although their long-distance relationship consists of phone calls and bonding over their passion for working with people with disabilities, others times their focus is centred around rugby league.
While the discussion of professionalism in the women’s game continues to be debated, Elliott has been given a closer insight into the demands and sacrifice of a female player since being with Boyle.
“I’ve trained and played alongside people who play NSW Cup and it’s similar, and as a full-time player you certainly appreciate what others are out there doing,” Elliott said.
“You get up every morning and whether you’re a tradie or university student, you don’t get a breath in between, you’re going to training, having dinner and getting sleep, then do it all again.
“It’s so hard to see, but while the women’s game is becoming more professional and is being televised, I think they’re making waves with three new teams and it can only lead to good things.
“I’ve always watched Millie play and the quality and standard is getting better. They’re so committed and work so hard at their game. They face different challenges but should be respected for it.”
Elliott will be in attendance for a second time watching Boyle on Sunday as the Raiders recruit enjoys his final weekend off before round one begins.
“It’s so different watching Millie as a boyfriend, there were way more nerves watching her play than when I do,” Elliott said.
“I don’t know many girls who are happy to have a cut as long as it’s not on the front of their face either because she got a nasty one last week.
“She’s definitely tough and I know how much her teammates love her.”
Back in the nation’s capital, Elliott has settled into his new surroundings after more than a decade in Sydney and was relishing the chance to start fresh after an abrupt finish to his Bulldogs career.
“I always knew what Canberra was like but I didn’t think it would suit me as much as it has,” he said.
“I just find everyone really friendly and most people who live in Canberra go for the Raiders so it’s different to Sydney in that regard.
“I just want to play my best footy, last year was interrupted with injury and off-field stuff.
“I want to be one of the first people Ricky picks every week because he knows what I’m going to do for him.”
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As for his former club Canterbury, whom he spent 13 years with at the junior and senior level, Elliott was quick to point out when he’ll line up against his old side.
“It’s round nine on a Friday night at GIO 6pm kick-off,” he grinned.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t first check when we played against them. It’s not out of spite or having anything to prove, nothing like that, it’s purely because it’s going to be so different for me.
“The Bulldogs are the only place I’ve ever known. I’ve got some good friends there and have been there since I was 14. It will be the first time I ever play against Josh Jackson.
“But in saying all that, there’s eight more games I need to get through first.”