Returning Sydney Roosters playmaker Zahara Temara is out to make up for lost time and remind the elite women's rugby league fraternity of her ability after a long layoff through injury.
The incumbent Jillaroos halfback spent four months on the sidelines following ankle and knee setbacks suffered during a pre-season trial game in February.
She was forced to watch on helplessly as the Maroons suffered a second defeat to NSW in the State of Origin clash at North Sydney Oval in June. But she is now determined to keep a hold of her green and gold jersey over the coming months.
The 22-year-old returned to finish club duties with Burleigh in the South-East Queensland competition last month before turning down an offer from the Broncos to re-sign with the Roosters for the 2019 NRLW season.
"I tore the muscle at the back of my knee and they thought I had just an ankle ligament sprain as well but it was still sore a while later, so they checked properly and I'd torn those ligaments as well," Temara told NRL.com.
"The things I was doing to rehabilitate my knee were irritating my ankle. I've struggled a little bit coming back because it's going to take a while for my body to adjust to the contact side of things but I'm confident it will get back to feeling normal again.
"It's been a tough year and it was terrible doing both at the same time but I was grateful it wasn't something serious like an ACL."
Temara found herself playing in the unusual position of lock for most of last year's Roosters campaign with Lavina O'Mealey and Maddie Studdon starting out in the halves.
But despite the departures of O'Mealey (retirement) and Studdon (Dragons) for the upcoming season, the race for a position in the halves looms as an even bigger challenge for Temara with the emergence and returns of several other play makers over the past 12 months.
The Tricolours have secured NSW five-eighth Kirra Dibb, former Dragon Melanie Howard and ex-Jillaroos representative Simone Smith as fresh faces at the club, while Quincy Dodd has been retained as a utility.
"I'm happy with whatever but they do there, but they know I'm a half first and that's my priority, I do really want to kick on there," Temara said.
"The beauty of the depth is we can all learn something from each other too, which is good. We've got a bit more time to train together this year and I'm excited because we love the club and are keen to get stuck into it and pick up where we left off."
The Roosters were NRLW grand finalists but lost to the Broncos 34-12.