Ellia Green is back on the rugby paddock, with a renewed competitive desire, just eight days before the third Sydney 7s.
Green, who ruptured her ACL in April last year, returned for the Aussies in a pre-tournament friendly against Ireland, taking a huge step in her recovery ahead of next week’s World Series tournament.
The speedster said the brief cameo she played had only ignited her hunger for success.
“As soon as I got the ball in my hands, I was just really excited and one of the things I wanted to be cautious of was I didn't want to get too excited out there because it has been a long nine months of rehab but I was just so happy to be out there and next to my teammates again,” she said.
“It's lit the fire all right.
“I have fire in my eyes and I'm hoping by Monday I might be picked in that 12 to play but until then I'm just going to keep working hard and enjoying the game times we get.”
Thursday’s games against Japan and Ireland were a test for the Aussies returning from injuries as well as the next generation.
For Green, the game just meant a full-blown return became much more of a reality.
“It's a day I've been thinking about for a long time and I guess in the early days, I didn't know when I would be able to play,” she said.
“Sydney 7s was always the goal, but to actually be so close to it is a little bit surreal to be honest.”
Sydney will be one of the last tournaments the women play under mentor Tim Walsh, after he announced his looming resignation last week.
The man who will take over from Walsh, John Manenti, said he’d be looking to learn as much as he could before stepping up for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.
“Tim's obviously got one of the best records in world rugby for sevens and winning gold and everything he's achieved with this team,” he said.
“It's huge, huge shoes to fill and I'm really excited about doing it.
“I've been with the girls and worked with Tim now since pre-Rio so I've seen how he goes about his things.
“It's a big challenge for me but something I'm really looking forward to doing and really enjoy working with the girls, so hopefully that'll continue.”
The Sydney 7s kicks off on Friday January 26, running until Sunday January 28. Buy tickets here.