Former Jillaroo resets with Orchids


TWO years ago Jazmyn Taumafai’s, pictured, representative dreams were in tatters after she tore her anterior cruciate ligament just days out from Jillaroos camp.
In eight days she will reignite her international career in a different way — by playing for Papua New Guinea in the women’s rugby league World Cup.
It’s been a long road back for the Caboolture-based mother-of-two, but it has been a journey that has made her realise how much she loves the game.
The two-time Queensland star underwent a knee reconstruction towards the end of 2015 and then spent all of 2016 on the sideline, during which time she had her second child.
When she returned to the field this year, she said she was not the same player.
“After my second baby, I gained a bit of weight and my goals changed when it came to footy,” the Caboolture Sharks forward said.
“I was pretty content with what I had achieved in football and my priorities had changed.
“This was my year to just come back and gain a bit of form back.”
That was until a call came from PNG assistant coach David Westley, asking Taumafai — eligible through her mum’s side of the family — to play for the Orchids in their warm up match against the Far North Queensland All Stars team.
Two days after the side’s 30-6 victory last month, the 23-year-old was in the World Cup squad.
Now Taumafai knows she is capable of more than she thought.
“I’m the type of person where I can be my biggest fan or my own worst enemy,” she said.
“To know that they chose me because they think I’m capable, it really was a confidence booster. Now I just know I should keep my standards high.
“I’m so nervous to play rep footy again and to (face) the best women in the world at this sport but I know that I’m there for a reason.
“They trust in my ability so I have to back myself on this one and go as hard as I can. I’ve nothing to lose.”
Taumafai, who also used her time off the field last year to coach her sister’s under-14s side, said she could not have returned to the representative stage without her family, including her partner Jeremy and their two children Akira, 4, and Vincent, 1. – CourierMail