Maroons desire inspired stunning injury return
Star Maroons back Meg Ward was unsure if she'd ever play rugby league again following a serious neck injury. The gun centre has revealed the Origin arena drove her return to the game.
Ward has made a whirlwind start to 2019 since returning from spinal surgery last year on a ruptured and slipped disc suffered while playing in the inaugural NRLW competition.
The premiership-winning Bronco admitted her immediate league career was uncertain six months ago when she began rehabilitation to get back to full-contact football.
Ward returned to the field in April with her local club Souths Logan Magpies with her strong display sealing Origin selection.
The 24-year-old is confident she is back to her damaging best and is fired up for Friday night's clash against NSW at North Sydney Oval.
"I wasn't sure what this season was going to be like after my neck," Ward said.
"I'm just so grateful for this opportunity.
"I think everyone knows what it means to pull on the maroon jersey and it was definitely motivation.
"Last year's loss was heartbreaking for all of the girls, myself included, so I'm really keen to bring the trophy back to Queensland."
Ward's call up to the Maroons side coached by Jason Hetherington is a testament to her hard work and she hopes it will inspire the next generation of talent.
"It's great to have so many young fans following our journey - and my journey," Ward said.
The Maroons ran an opposed session against the Queensland Under-18s squad on the Gold Coast Tuesday before flying to Sydney on Wednesday afternoon.
They tested their defensive systems against dominant schoolboys team Palm Beach Currumbin High on Monday.
Maroons dummy half Brittany Breayley said the opposed sessions helped improve their combinations.
"They've all given us a run for our money," Breayley said.
"It helps us to really focus on our combinations but everything is looking positive.
"The run against Palm Beach Currumbin was really good because they're all so tough down there.
"It's always good to have an opposed session and shove some defence in our face because running against nothing is kind of easy sometimes."