SHE'S spent close to two years out of the game, but Dragons captain Sam Bremner insists she doesn't have a point to prove on her return to elite rugby league - she has several.
Bremner last played for the Dragons in round one of the inaugural NRLW season in 2018, with an untimely to injury ruling her out for the remainder of that campaign.
She's since become a proud mum to son Reef, with pregnancy seeing her shift to coaching ranks for the 2019 NRLW season. In years gone by that was where players who leave the game to start a family typically stayed, if they stayed in the game at all.
Bremner will break that mould when she returns to co-skipper the Dragons at this weekend's NRL Nines, admitting she hasn't felt the same buzz since her first outing for the Jillaroos close to a decade ago.
"You know what, driving down to training this week I was actually nervous and I thought 'this is awesome' because that means it feels new to me again," Bremner said.
"I've been playing for 10 years this year and, even though I never took anything for granted, it definitely became what I's always done. It never got boring, it was just a habit and what I did.
"I think having 18 months or thereabouts out of the game really makes me appreciate things like training, like just sitting around on the physio bed and chatting to everyone.
"It's a really cool feeling. I get nervous, but I'm nervous excited. I've got so much energy in my body and I just need to get out on the field and let it out.
"When you're out injured you're still hanging around and you're still holding a little bit of resentment over being taken out of the game.
"When you're pregnant you've made a decision to take yourself out of the game for a positive reason. Now going back into it and I'm not just excited about those things I've missed, I feel like I've got more purpose to be the best I can be."
When it comes to that, her best is very, very good - good enough that she's already established as one of the greats of the game.
She's have held that distinction even had the decision to start a family also meant calling time on her career. There was a time that one was the inevitable flip-side of the other.
The times are changing, quicker than most in women's rugby league, but Bremner admits it was something she wrestled with.
"I came to a point in my career, particularly when all the injuries were happening, where I started to feel a little bit guilty that I was putting football first over and over again and putting off having a family," she said.
"My husband [Wayne] was very patient. A family was something I really wanted, but I kept putting rugby league first because I thought once you had a family, that was your number one priority.
"What I've learned is that you can have different top priorities in different areas of your life. Wayne and my family will always be number one in my heart, but when I'm on the field I'm a hundred per cent a rugby league player.
"When I'm at home I'm a hundred per cent a mum, when I'm at work I'm a hundred per cent a PT. That's been a conscious effort for me since Reef was born.
"My only goal this year is to do that. In the past it's been win this, win that but this year it's about being giving a hundred per cent to whatever I'm doing.
"I don't want to be at the field thinking about work, I don't want to be at work rocking Reef, I want to be a hundred per cent wherever I am and so far it's working really well."
Entering the coaching ranks alongside Daniel Lacey last season helped her stay in touch with the game and the club of which she was the founding captain.
It ensured a return to the playing ranks was never beyond arm's length, but her biggest hope in returning is that it will open the door for others to follow suit.
"Throughout my whole pregnancy no one ever put pressure on me to return to rugby league or be involved with rugby league," Bremner said.
"Everyone encouraged me to do what was best for me and the baby but I put it on myself to do it and prove a point for no other reason than showing my teammates that they could do it to.
"I'm so passionate about this sport and I don't want my teammates to be lost to other sports or other parts of their life because they think they can't do both.
"I want to show that they can, not only do both, but excel at both."
That may be a broader goal, but she has few of her own as well after a tough run with injuries hampered the latter part of her pre-pregnancy career.
The Helensburgh product suffered two separate leg fractures, one keeping her out of the Jillaroos 2017 World Cup victory, while she managed a lone NRLW appearance in 2018 before suffering an untimely broken toe.
Having been a leading light through pioneering years of the early noughties, watching on as the game makes its quantum leap has been frustrating; and left her with some unfinished business.
"It feels like there's been a carrot dangling in front of me for a solid two years," Bremner said.
"I got a little taste of it two years ago when we won National champs [with Country] and played Origin and we won, then I broke my bloody toe.
"I got a little taste of NRLW and that was it for me. It's been a bit of a carrot dangling in front of me but I just kept focusing on how good the feeling would be when I got back.
"I can't remember the last time I was pain-free on the paddock just cruising and playing footy. That's what motivates me now, having that feeling back."
It'll continue a career that's already as stellar as it gets. The biggest highlight though... it's still to come.
"It's probably going to be my proudest moment when I finish a game of rugby league and I can see Reef in the stands and think 'wow, I did it, I didn't think this was possible'," Bremner said.