ANNIKA Jamieson moved to Melbourne a year ago for a sea change.
The Novocastrian was on the mend from shoulder surgery and joined the Power House rugby club to "have a bit of fun".
On Monday, the back-rower was named in the Melbourne Rebels squad and she is now in line to make her Super W debut against the NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park on February 14.
What's more the 27-year-old is surrounded by familiar faces.
From Toronto, Jamieson is one of four players with Newcastle connections in the 33-player squad.
Centre Ashleigh Walker played at Easts last season and previously was at Wanderers.
Lock Brook Saunders, a former Wallaroo, was captain-coach at Easts and was the NHRU women's coach of the year in 2019.
Carmen Landkauf is from Maitland and spent many years at Wanderers before relocating to Melbourne in 2013.
The No.8 is in her second season with the Rebels and is captain at Power House, who won the premiership in 2019.
"I wanted a bit of a sea change so I came down to Melbourne," Jamieson said. "I was having fun playing footy with Power House and Rebels coach Alana Thomas asked me to do a few sessions with a couple of the Wallaroos down here. They needed some extra bodies. Then the Rebels coaching staff came and watched a few club games and invited me to trial in August. Things progressed from there."
In Newcastle, Jamieson represented Hunter and NSW Country and helped steer The Waratahs to the 2018 premiership.
"We trained a lot at the Waratahs (Newcastle) but here it is more intense," she said. "We are training four times a week. I'm as fit and as strong as I have ever been.
"There are six girls from Power House in the squad and we have been training and pushing each other. My left shoulder is great. I injured my right shoulder in the grand final down here. I'm rehabing it instead of having surgery."
Jamieson, Saunders and Walker are among 20 newcomers in the Rebels squad.
"We have an exciting squad again this year with around two thirds of the squad being new but the new players are bringing some really good energy and skills," Thomas said.
If selected for the season opener, Jamieson will be up against former Newcastle Waratahs teammates Katrina Barker and Maya Stewart, who are expected to start for the defending champions.
"It is a double header with the men and I think there are a few flying down from Newcastle for it," Jamieson said.
As well as work for her father's business, Jamieson has joined the Rebels media department.
"We created a television channel 'Rebel Like Her', she said. It is going pretty well on the social media platforms. I'm also doing some media work with the men's team. It's good fun."
The Rebels have a trial game in Wagga Wagga on February 2.
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