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Rookie watch: Sautia chasing more success with Broncos

Ahead of the rescheduled NRL Telstra Women's Premiership, NRL.com profiles the next crop of talent ready to make their mark in 2022.

Rookie snapshot

  • Name: Sara Sautia
  • Age: 20
  • NRLW club: Broncos
  • Position: Second row

Rising Broncos forward Sara Sautia took up rugby league in 2014 and hasn't looked back after previously excelling in athletics and netball.

The Queensland under 19s representative would join her sister at rugby league training after her own sporting commitments throughout the week, where she quickly realised that she too wanted to get involved in the game.

A promising back-rower or lock, Sautia travelled to Sydney to link with the Bulldogs Tarsha Gale Cup side in 2021, where she won the club's player of the year honours.

Her motive to relocate to Sydney was to challenge herself against NSW's best talent ahead of possible selection for Queensland's under 19s Origin side.

Rookie watch: Sara Sautia 2021 Tarsha Gale Cup highlights

The decision paid off with Sautia turning heads in the competition and at the Harvey Norman National Championships in May to earn Origin selection and an NRLW deal at the Broncos.

Broncos coach Kelvin Wright had a front-row seat of Sautia's ability throughout 2021 with his role in charge of Queensland's under 19s program.

"I'm really excited to be part of the Broncos and hopefully have a run," Sautia told NRL.com.

"Kelvin gave me a call after our Queensland under 19s game and was telling me about the Broncos.

"I was shocked because making the NRLW was a goal of mine but I didn't think it would be achievable so soon.

"The girls in that squad, I can learn a lot from them. I've played a few games with some but not all. It will be a great next step for my game.

"The Broncos are also a great club and hugely successful so it was an easy decision for me to join them."

A freight handler away from footy, Sautia has been keeping busy during the Christmas period but will join her new teammates for pre-season training on January 10.

She said her lightbulb moment in the game came recently when she sat down with Wright and the Queensland coaching staff to discuss her future. 

"They told us to set some goals and to discuss it with them, and how they can help me achieve them," Sautia said.

"At that point it all became real for me. I'm a laid-back person so it was just going with the flow previously and enjoying the experience that came my way.

"But now it feels real and I'm ready to make the most of the opportunity."