Sarah Laman’s been a fixture in Sydney representative teams since 2002 and now she has the perfect way to go out as a player in Friday’s Super W final against Queensland.
The 32-year-old has spent half of her relatively young life playing rugby and she couldn’t be happier.
However, she told her Sydney teammates she was retiring from representative rugby after their triumph at Rugby Australia’s national championships last season.
“Last year I had reached my point of representative rugby - yep; it was good fun, but I’ve had my time," Laman said.
“I’d been playing since I was 16; since 2002, my first year playing for Sydney and that was 16 years ago, so I was like I’m done," she added.
But when Rugby Australia turned this year’s Super W competition into reality, Laman decided she wanted to come out of her short-lived retirement and go around one more time.
“I was done but then, this opportunity popped-up to represent New South Wales under that jersey, I just couldn’t let that opportunity go really," she said.
“I thought I’d give it one more crack, to see if I’m good enough, to see if I’m (still) competitive enough to challenge the younger girls."
Despite her pending retirement from representative rugby, Laman on 202 club games says she won’t be entertaining any thoughts of retiring from her beloved Warringah Rattettes and she’ll be setting out to chase club mate “Skitz’s” - Lynda Robertson’s club record of 260 plus games at Warringah rugby club.
She might have to wait a while, as Robertson is still playing well into her 40s.
This is the community spirit she loves on the northern beaches, where coach Erin Morton who is now the NSW team manager and former Wallaroo Chris Ross, who suggested she play hooker, have played a big part in her development as a representative player.
Laman says those same club records kept are a testament to Morton’s drive to see women’s rugby in a prominent place, as she has been the driver behind keeping female player statistics at the club.
Laman, who can’t imagine life without rugby, will be a good luck charm for NSW against Queensland, as during her 16 years of playing representative rugby, she has only lost once at nationals.