A Home Away From Home For Karina Brown

In demand backline sensation Karina Brown had many offers on the table ahead of the NRL Women's Premiership, but in the end it all came down to where she'd feel at home.

A Brisbane native, Brown's obvious choice would have been the Brisbane Broncos, but when it came to making her decision she was adamant that she needed to keep an open mind.

"From the start (of the signing process) I said to myself that I would leave my options completely open, even though you might have thought that the Broncos would be my first choice," she said of that free agency period.

"I had a number of offers on the table and I could have gone anywhere.

"From the moment I walked into the doors at the Sydney Roosters I felt like I was home.

"Everyone from the men's team, the staff, it just feels like family.

"To be out of my state and feel like that, it was a no brainer to be completely honest."

It certainly didn't hurt the decision making process when she found out that the Roosters had snapped up in demand marquee players Maddie Studdon and Isabelle Kelly.

The pair are good friends of Karina's, fierce opponents and outstanding representative teammates all wrapped up in one.

"When I was looking where to go when the season was announced there were a few names mentioned.

"When I heard about people like Maddie Studdon and Isabelle Kelly signing on, who I played against in the Origin series this year, I was definitely excited at the prospect of playing with them.

"Playing against them and now playing alongside them at club level is just awesome, because I've also played with them at the Jillaroos.

"How amazing it would be to hold the first premiership trophy alongside them as well."

Now fully recovered from a broken jaw and raring to go after being named on the wing this week, Brown feared that she may miss out on playing in the Inaugural season all together when she was injured in a freak injury just eight weeks ago.

She feared the worst, but was thrilled when she heard the news that she'd be available to run out for Round 1.

"I've had a few serious injuries in my career, and they all seem to happen in the last five minutes of the game.

"This one was no different.

"We'd already won the game, then right at the death a forward broke the line.

"As a fullback does, I went at her legs, put my jaw in the wrong spot and bang.
"She got me really good.

"I got the all clear to play about two weeks ago though, so I'm good to go."

Partner and teammate Vanessa Foliaki was a big help in the recovery process, even if the meals didn't sound terribly appealing.

"My partner Vanessa (Foliaki) was awesome, she pretty much blended up all the meals she was having.

"I was having blended chicken schnitzel, potatoes and vegetables.

"All the weight that I lost has come back now, so I'll be at my best on Saturday."

The Sydney Roosters inaugural Women's Premiership season kicks off on Saturday afternoon at ANZ Stadium against the New Zealand Warriors.

Some women have dreamed of this moment since they were young aspiring rugby league players, but in Karina's case there was no dream because it didn't feel like a possibility

"I didn't really think about it when I was a girl, because it was almost unheard of that women could play.

"I focused all my energy into touch football in high school and enjoyed that.

"When I turned 21 and found out that there were competitions around with women playing, I jumped at the idea pretty quickly.

"To see where it's grown in the nine years that I've been involved is just phenomenal."

Now that kick off is just around the corner, the two big emotions are in full effect.

"There's excitement and nerves at the moment.

"I think you've just got to treat each game like another game of footy.

"I've been here before, I've done this before, we've just got to savour every moment we're out there and play our best footy.

"We need to control our energy and perform to the best of our ability."