A desire to become the number one fullback in the women's game pushed former Dragon Botille Vette-Welsh towards a return to the Sydney Roosters this season.
Vette-Welsh was unveiled as part of a new-look 22-player squad announced by the Roosters on Wednesday after spending a season at fullback in the Red V following Sam Bremner's pregnancy.
However, Bremner's pending return and the expected signing of Isabelle Kelly at the Dragons caused a selection headache in the backline, leaving Vette-Welsh with a choice to leave or fight for a position in the backline.
The Jillaroos representative last played a game for the Tricolours in their inaugural season and is out to prove her worth in the long run.
"I think it was just time to get out of my comfort zone and back my ability," Vette-Welsh told NRL.com.
"Sammy's an amazing player and a great leader so it's hard to take her shine. I thought I could either stay at the Dragons and wait my turn or make my own step.
"In a short competition you might not get a game and I thought I did quite well last year so had every right to hold a spot.
"There are so many girls chasing a spot now, there are 17 and 18-year-olds who are on your heels.
"It's an effort that has to go on for years now, it's not just you get a spot and keep it, you've got to work hard to keep it.
"That's the way the world is working these days and that's what is going to make the competition great.
"When I first played for the Roosters I got called in a week before when there was an injury and it was like 'would you like to play?' So already over the last two years, it's changed now."
Vette-Welsh will link with Roosters coach Jamie Feeney, who has coached the 24-year-old at the international level as late as last season.
"It's awesome for me to be able to develop and if there's a chance I can be a better player and teammate then under an Australian coach then that is the way to go," she said.
"Feens has set a good standard, he's not there to sugar coat things and makes us better. In order for a player to grow, they need honest, constructive feedback, and he's doing that.
"We had a Zoom with Cooper Cronk the other day, he was talking to us through his computer and it was unbelievable how much we were learning.
"The men's team support the women so much at the Roosters and Feens has been at the front of that."
Vette-Welsh looms as a key ingredient for the Roosters spine that will include the likes of Charlotte Caslick, Zahara Temara and Nita Maynard.
Herself a former rugby union player, Vette-Welsh said she'd already had nightmares about potentially tackling another code hopper in Warriors recruit Ellia Green.
"I've put the scenario in my head a few times before bed already and thought what on earth am I going to do if she comes running at me," Vette-Welsh laughed.
"I'd just try and hit her as hard as I can and chop down those legs. She can't run without them."
Sydney Roosters NRLW squad 2020
- Charlotte Caslick
- Kennedy Cherrington
- Quincy Dodd
- Vanessa Foliaki
- Grace Hamilton
- Filomina Hanisi
- Melanie Howard
- Jocelyn Kelleher
- Bobbi Law
- Amelia Mafi
- Nita Maynard
- Corban McGregor
- Yasmin Meakes
- Brydie Parker
- Shanice Parker
- Kaitlyn Phillips
- Taleena Simon
- Zahara Temara
- Simaima Taufa
- Sarah Togatuki
- Hannah Southwell
- Botille Vette-Welsh