When Brooke Saunders returned from a two year posting in the US in January this year, she never imagined she would find herself on the verge of playing at the highest level again.
But like the fighter jets she fixes for a living, Saunders is soaring towards another chapter in her rugby journey.
The former north west native, and Wallaroo, is currently in Melbourne being put through her paces as she chases a spot in the Rebels squad for next year's Super W competition.
She is one of about 60 players trialling to make the squad, the process in it's final stages.
"We've got two trials against Tasmania and South Australia on the 30th of November," Saunders said.
"After that there'll be an inter-team trial and from there they'll pick a squad of 30-40."
Capped three times for the national side, Saunders, who considers herself a Quirindi native but has strong ties to Gunnedah with her mum Wendy and step-dad Wayne Kerr living there, last played for the Wallaroos in the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup.
She does hold aspirations of pulling on the green and gold again, but accepts that that might not happen.
"Since I have been away there has been some specialist locks come through," the now 34-year old said.
But that isn't stopping her pushing herself as hard as she can, firstly to win a spot in the Rebels squads.
Coming home Saunders "didn't expect to play Super W" but said it would be nice to pull on that Rebels jersey.
"It's like a second wind," she said, adding that one good thing about being away and not playing at the same level that she was, was her body was able to heal.
She has returned to a landscape, as far as the women's game, vastly different to the one she left - in a good way - the advent of Super W one of the notable advancements.
"It's changed a lot. We used to only have nationals, which was once a year and lasted only three or four days. Now we get to play in a proper season," she said.
"To be honest it's great and the benefit of this is the Australian team will become a lot stronger."
After dabbling in a bit of coaching while she was in the US, (she coached the Arizona State Uni team, which she really enjoyed) Saunders continued that on this season, and taking on a playing-coach role with Easts/Newcastle University was named the women's coach of the year for the Newcastle competition.
She also recently suited up for the victorious Quirindi women's side in the Toothy Tens.
"It was incredible to play for Quirindi," she said.
"I always wanted to play for them."
But growing up that was never really an option.
She was impressed by what she saw commenting that "for a small town there is a lot of talent coming out of Quirindi".