Wallaroos lock Millie Boyle spent a lot of 2018 watching on as women’s rugby took major strides.
A shoulder injury sidelined the rising star in the inaugural season of Super W and for Australia’s first women’s home Test in a decade.
While there were moments where she missed it, Boyle said she also found some perspective in her recovery journey.
“I got to sit back and see what's important in life as well as rugby because it's quite easy to be consumed with rugby and the people around you and playing and training and whatnot,” she said.
“As much as I missed it, it was nice to do a bit of travelling, spent some time with some friends, it was really nice.”
It’s fair to say her patience has paid off this season - a move to the Gold Coast took her into Queensland’s Super W fold and she played a key role in the side all the way to the final.
Her form made her a clear Wallaroos inclusion but it hasn’t just been rugby where she’s found her groove.
Boyle, whose father David played for the Raiders and older brother Morgan plays for the Gold Coast Titans, has a strong rugby league pedigree and she proved that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree earlier this month.
She starred for NSW in the women’s rugby league State of Origin last week, on the same day she was selected for the Wallaroos squad.
Speaking to RUGBY.com.au before her Origin debut, Boyle said while her brother had tried to twist her arm to pursue league, rugby was where she had found her niche.
“I played rugby league until U12s and then through high school, I had a high school teacher who was rugby mad and he would make us go to training and we had tournaments, go up to Canberra and play in tournaments and play in Sydney.
“I moved to Canberra after that and started playing in the local Canberra rugby comp with Royals so I think my love of rugby grew from there.”
Now that she is back and fully fit, Boyle’s focus is firmly on pushing for a hotly-contested second row spot with the Wallaroos.
“To try and work my way back there, that's what we train for, it's what we make sacrifices for,” she said.
“It's all for that jersey at the end of the day and not only that, but to represent your country to the best of your abilities so everything we're doing, doing it at 110 per cent so we're not taking it for granted.
“There's other girls out there nipping right at the feet so it's good to get that opportunity to do it again.”
The Wallaroos take on Japan in a two-Test series in July, with the opener on July 13 at Newcastle Sportsground no. 2 and the second at North Sydney Oval on July 19. Buy tickets here.