Women's rugby league veteran Ruan Sims said the NRL Holden Women's Premiership has taken the game to the next level.
The tough prop had captained Australia and worn the Blues jersey prior to the inaugural NRLW season. After an injury-interrupted 2018, the 36-year-old missed out Jillaroo's selection for the upcoming Test against New Zealand.
That personal disappointment aside, Sims said the arrival of the NRLW would continue to take the women's game to new heights.
"We've always said that the Jillaroos is the jewel and the crown but we've always needed something to straddle State of Origin and club football and this [NRLW] has been the missing link," Sims said.
"The longer that we are in this professional space on a regular basis, that means the standard of football that you play is better, the standard of training you are exposed to is better and the standard of coaching you receive is so much higher.
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"This time next year I think we're really going to start to see the benefits of all of this work - this missing link is now plugged and it will only grow, expand and get better while making the levels above even more incredible."
Although the Roosters 34-12 loss to the Brisbane in Sunday's grand final was not how Sims planned her first NRLW season to end, she remains grateful for the opportunity she and her fellow players have been given.
"This competition wasn't slated to start until 2020 or 2021 and if that was the case I would not have been playing," Sims said.
"So for the NRL to really bite the bullet and say, with the amount of support we're getting the competition has to happen - kudos to all the clubs who also bit the bullet and picked up a five-year license.
"I honestly don't know if words can express the amount of gratitude I have for this opportunity because I never thought this would happen in my playing career."
Sims has been vocal about her decision to remain in the game as she hopes to go around for another year with the Roosters.
"I'm not interested in retiring just yet. As long as my body is still going and my mind is willing I will continue to play," Sims said.
"I've spoken to a few people and they've said just make sure that when you retire that's definitely what you want to do."