Breayley honoured with consecutive POY awards
WHAT is better than winning Queensland Rugby League's Women's Representative Player of the Year? Winning it two-years running.
That is what Ipswich Brothers hooker Brittany Breayley achieved, when her name was again called out at the annual QRL awards evening on Wednesday.
The Queensland and Australian Jillaroos representative said it was a humbling experience to be recognised for yet another stellar season at club, state and international level.
"It's obviously such a huge honour, and honestly the feeling is indescribable,” the 26 year-old from Mackay said.
"The feeling, to be named Player of the Year when there's so many great players who play alongside me - it's very humbling.”
Breayley was a key cog in the Jillaroos side which won the Auckland Nines at the start of 2017.
The Aussies then went on to win the ANZAC test against rivals New Zealand.
But it was another year of disappointment in Maroon colours, as the traditionally dominant Queensland Women stumbled to a second-consecutive Nellie Doherty Cup defeat to New South Wales.
"Queensland had a 17-year straight run of wins, but then in 2015 we drew up in Townsville, and then last year we had a loss and this year they got us again,” Breayley said.
"We're losing a lot of older players who have been around for a long time - not just Queensland but Australian (representatives) as well - but we have some young blood coming through with heaps of talent. I think we can get the trophy back next year, fingers crossed.”
Breayley debuted for Queensland in 2014, and now with four years under her belt is relishing the opportunity to take a leadership role.
"The younger players look up to the ones that have been around for a while, and it's great to know they look to me as a leader,” Breayley said.
Recently instilled in the Jillaroos' leadership group, Breayley is quietly confident the Aussies can make it two World Cup wins in a row.
Australia ended New Zealand's stranglehold in 2013, taking the trophy away from the Kiwi Ferns for the first time in the tournament's history.
"I know all the girls are on board with what we've put in place for the Jillaroos, we're training hard and looking at getting faster and stronger,” Breayley said.
"I think our chances (of winning the World Cup) are pretty high, but we'll be taking every game as it comes starting with the first one on November 16.
"But our aim definitely is to be at Suncorp Stadium on December 2 (for the grand final).”
The Mackay State High School product said it was great to see female representative pathways developing at such a rapid pace.
"I only started playing when I was 17 because I saw a flyer on the PE sports room at school,” Breayley said.
"For me back then there weren't many pathways for girls.
"It's great to see and be a part of, and to know now that there's so many opportunities for girls to play rugby league.”