The real reason Davis-Welsh didn't play in NRLW

Amid the excitement surrounding the lead-in to year one of the Holden NRL Women's Premiership, Sydney Roosters recruit Nakia Davis-Welsh was secretly dealing with a historic moment of her own.

Three weeks after signing with the Tricolours, the fullback received unexpected but exciting news that she was pregnant.

When she walked off the paddock following South Sydney's 14-12 loss to Mounties in the Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership grand final, little did she know that would prove to be her final game of the year.

"I was shocked when I first found out but once it finally sunk in the excitement started to grow and now I just can't wait," Davis-Welsh said.

"I'm finally starting to show which makes me even more excited for this new chapter of my life to come - I'm counting down the weeks as they go by.

"It's the best thing I've ever experienced."

 
 
 
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Cannot wait to meet you❤️👶🏿 #babywinters #comingapril2019

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Given that she was in the early stages of pregnancy, Davis-Welsh was reluctant to share her excitement until the season was over.

The 22-year-old dodged questions as to why she wasn't taking part in the NRLW competition when it was taking place, with many under the assumption she was injured.

"It was very hard to keep it a secret from everyone," Davis-Welsh said.

"But I was adamant to not tell people until it got past the 12-week mark and I knew that everything was okay.

"Our families were obviously the first people we told when we found out and once training began for the premiership I spoke to Craig Walker [Roosters manager of football partnerships and programs] and the Roosters coaching staff about it.

"It was until a week out from that competition that I told all Roosters girls - they were under the assumption that I was injured but once they found out they were really excited for me."

Davis-Welsh is due to give birth in April and is open to a return late next season, inspired by Roosters teammate Tazmin Gray and other mothers in the squad.

She now has a new level of admiration for mothers who play the game at a high level.

"I'm not sure when I'll be back, I'd like to return for the end of the local competition season, but in saying that I'm not in any rush - I'll come back when I'm ready," Davis-Welsh said.

"All the mums in the team were over the moon for me - telling me what's to come and sharing their experience which was great to hear.

"Especially Tazmin as she was the most recent one out of the bunch to have a baby and she bounced back so quick to playing again - it's very inspiring and motivating.

"It was funny after the grand final when I was holding Tazmin's baby and was thinking, wow I'll have my baby here with me next year.

"They're all very strong women and I feel very lucky and grateful to be surrounded by so many of them."

The Roosters are equally eager for the NSW representative to return to the club in 2019.

Davis-Welsh received verbal assurance that the club will support her return at a suitable time.

"It's been great having the support of the Roosters coaching staff," Davis-Welsh said.

"If I injured I think I would of been disappointed about not playing in the Premiership.

"But because I'm pregnant and extremely excited about it didn't even cross my mind. I was happy and grateful that I was still able to be a part of the team and support the girls from the sideline."