Why rejuvenated Wallaroo Millie Boyle appreciates every opportunity

Super W
by Emma Greenwood

It's been almost a year since the rotator cuff surgery that prevented Millie Boyle from playing in the inaugural Super W competition.

Being sidelined was annoying but Boyle has long known the importance of appreciating every day and the Wallaroos forward was not about to give up on her footy opportunity easily.

Boyle's world was turned upside down in 2010 when her father David, a former Canberra Raiders rugby league player, was injured in a farming accident on their property at Cobargo in the Bega Valley.

David Boyle would go on to spend four months in a brain injury unit in hospital, with Millie, older brother Morgan -- a Gold Coast Titans rugby league player -- and another three siblings looking after the farm with their mother Shelley.

"We were up in Canberra when it happened, we were going to an athletics carnival," Boyle said of the day that changed her family's life.

"We went to see him in hospital but it was a bit of a shock.

"I don't think at the time we realised how big a deal it was and how much of an impact it would have.

"But definitely you've got to make the mot of the opportunities you get because you never really know what tomorrow is going to present."

Millie Boyle of Bond Uni in action during the match between Bond University and Macquarie University and at the Womens Sevens University Competition held at Macquarie Uni on September 9, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

David Boyle is now his daughter's biggest supporter, sending her messages of encouragement before every match.

He does the same for Morgan, who lives with his sister on the Gold Coast, where the footy-mad pair support each other's sporting dreams.

"I always have the little pre-game message or text from dad or he always calls," Boyle said.

"He's still unclear of all of the rules in rugby union, he's more of a league player, but it's good to have the support there from all of the family."

Boyle was one of the Queensland Women's XV's best in their record 112-0 win against the Rebels in their Super W season-opener on Sunday, with her repaired left shoulder passing its most grueling examination yet despite a short test during the Aon Uni 7s series last year.  

 

"It was a really good first hitout as a team," she said.

"We didn't get the chance to get a trial game in, so I think we were just going in hard and playing what we normally do in training, playing our set plays, and it really paid off.

"And we didn't ever drop (intensity) at all, we just kept going which is really good to see.

"I got shoulder surgery around this time last year, so that was my first game for Queensland and I'm really looking forward to this weekend and playing the Western Force girls."

With a strong family tradition in rugby league -- her uncle Jason Croker is another Raiders legend - Boyle could yet turn out in the NRLW competition later this year.
Millie Boyle is looking forward to jumping into the Uni7s. Photo: Getty Images

But her main focus is the 15-a-side game and helping Queensland to a Super W title before turning her attention to regaining her Wallaroos spot.

"Our main priority is looking at getting that one step up from last year and taking the Super W comp out and then looking into those Test matches and when they are," she said.

The Queensland Rugby Union will partner with Breast Cancer Network Australia for Saturday's double-header at Suncorp Stadium, with the Queensland Women's 'XV to wear pink socks against the Western Force and the Reds donning pink shoe laces.

The Queensland Women's XV take on the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday March 2, kicking off at 5:00pm AEDT (4:00pm local), LIVE on Kayo Sports and streamed at RUGBY.com.au and replayed on FOX SPORTS.