Setbacks drove Teitzel to Maroons pinnacle in Origin

Joel Gould |

Queensland forward Romy Teitzel (l) emerged from hardship to become a key figure for the Maroons.
Queensland forward Romy Teitzel (l) emerged from hardship to become a key figure for the Maroons.

Queensland second-rower Romy Teitzel says her toughest test as winless Newcastle captain in the club’s inaugural NRLW season was the making of her career.

The 25-year-old, who returned to play for Brisbane in the NRLW last year, will line up for the Maroons in Thursday’ night’s State of Origin season opener at Suncorp Stadium feeling she’s a stronger and better player and person.

The former fullback was handed the captaincy of the Knights in early 2022, when the COVID-delayed 2021 season kicked off. It didn’t go to plan with the side suffering five consecutive losses.

“In a growing sport we have a lot of setbacks and the biggest for me was probably captaining Newcastle  and not winning any games,” she told AAP.

“Newcastle is such a passionate league town and I felt the pressure and disappointment of not being a successful team

“I learned patience and resilience. Resilience is a great characteristic to uphold and to keep building on, along with gratitude.

“I have heaps of gratitude for where we are and the opportunities we now have. That experience was an eye-opener for me and made me a better person, leader and player.”

It didn’t take long for Teitzel and Newcastle’s fortunes to turn and later in 2022 she was a member of the premiership-winning Knights side playing in the second-row.

She returned to the Broncos but one goal – Queensland selection – had still eluded her. She ticked that box too.

“Not making representative teams has been a huge driving factor in being a better athlete but last year I was finally able to debut for the Queensland Maroons,” she said.

Teitzel played in both games of the 2023 series, won by the Maroons, and is back in camp with the side ahead of the first of three Origin clashes.

“To kick it off at Suncorp Stadium is a dream come true,” she said.

“To drive down Caxton St and live up to everything that has been the legacy of being a Queensland Maroon is very exciting.

“The women’s game is very deserving (of a three-game series to be played for the first time in 2024) due to the quality of football we are playing at the moment.”