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From Burleigh Bears to Broncos

If you asked Lauren Brown a few months ago if she saw herself playing for the Brisbane Broncos in 2020, her answer would have been: “Not in a million years”.

Brown, like many other professional athletes, had her world turned upside down when Covid-19 hit.

The 25-year-old started her year contracted with the Australian Women’s Sevens squad in Sydney, but a turn of events opened up a pathway to rugby league which she is thrilled about.

“I’m extremely happy that this is where I am. They are two different worlds but I’m so happy that this is where I am,” Brown said.

The speedy outside back had her first taste for league this season with the Holcim Cup winners, The Burleigh Bears.

Brown was outstanding in the halves for the Bears in their Grand Final, picking up Player of the Match alongside fellow team Broncos teammate Tamika Upton (South Logan Magpies) who received Player of the Holcim Cup.

“It was really awesome to be able to test the waters with club foot,” said Brown.

“Burleigh Bears was an amazing club and Tahnee Norris our coach was so awesome, and she helped me so much. They are a really good bunch of girls and it was a really good introduction to league.”

Following the Bears’ five-game season, Brown then received a call from Broncos Coach Kelvin Wright offering her even bigger news.

“He called and offered me a contract and I was just beside myself. I did expect this at all,” she said.

For the past two weeks, Brown has been settling into the Broncos outfit as they prepare for their third NRLW season.

“The hardest thing has been, in Sevens there’s me and six other players whereas in Rugby league there’s thirteen,” she said.

“I slid into the halves position for Burleigh just trying to control and organise twelve other people on the field, that’s probably been the biggest challenge compared to just sorting six girls out. It’s been a great challenge and it’s really something I’ve tried to work on.”

Brown will likely be positioned in the outside backs for the Broncos this season, a position she’s been well groomed into earlier this year.

With an exciting debut on the cards and a new club to play for, Brown also has the challenge of coming face-to-face with some of her old Sevens teammates.

Charlotte Caslick will make her debut for the Roosters and Ellia Green for the Warriors.

“I’m very excited actually, probably because I haven’t seen them in a long time and but it will just kind of remind me of training days,” she said. “When we use to train together and against each other. I’m really to verse them and have a hit out against them.”