While an opportunity to link up with her Australian and State of Origin teammates coupled with a return to Sydney were certainly driving factors in Jess Sergis’ move to Bondi, it's the chance to fulfil a childhood dream of pulling on the Red, White and Blue that has her excited the most.
Growing up in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Sergis’ obsession with Rugby League was forged as an avid Roosters supporter - despite living in a South Sydney mad household - and after three seasons at St George Illawarra, the 2019 Dally M Medallist say it was the right time for a sea change.
“My family are footy heads and are obsessed with the game,” she said.
“I was the odd one out my whole life. I was a crazy Roosters supporter when I was young, and all my other immediate family members were Souths supporters.
“I was the ugly duckling in a way - being the odd one out - but all my extended family are Roosters supporters and they’re all stoked that I’m in the Red, White and Blue.
“I kind of feel like I’m coming home a little bit. Being back in Sydney with my family and being a diehard Roosters supporter when I was younger, I’m living out my childhood dream.
“It feels like it was meant to be. I’m excited to wear the colours. I’m stoked.”
Returning to Sydney due to work commitments, the strike centre cited the opportunity to play under Head Coach John Strange and to link up with teammates at representative level as the reasons which culminated in her signature at the Tricolours.
I kind of feel like I’m coming home a little bit. Being back in Sydney with my family and being a diehard Roosters supporter when I was younger, I’m living out my childhood dream.Jess Sergis On signing with the Roosters
“I moved down to Wollongong for a few years with my partner, but I’ve moved back earlier this year for work, so a new Club was a better fit for me,” she explained.
“It wasn’t the main reason for change - it played a massive part - and I took it into consideration a lot, but I’m really excited to now be at the Roosters.
“I’ve heard such good things about John Strange and to be honest he was probably the biggest factor in my decision. I think he’ll be able to help me improve my game and I’m excited to improve as a player.
“I’m excited to play alongside Hannah Southwell. She’s probably someone that I try and run away from on the field because she chops me in half every time we come up against each other, so I’m excited for us to be on the same team.
“I’d rather play with Isabelle Kelly than against her. We play in the same position and always come up against one another so having her at the Roosters is a massive perk for me and the Club.
“To be able to play alongside Corban; I know she’s been at the Roosters the entire time and has captained the Club, and I’ve played a lot of good footy next to her, so I’m excited to link up.”
With the NRLW expanding to six teams in 2021 and eight in 2022, Sergis says that while that means more competition for Easts, the growth and expansion of the Women’s game can only be a positive for Rugby League.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen this year, we tried to be as up to date with it as we could, but it kind of happened so quickly that it became a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions,” Sergis explained.
“It’s all happened so quickly but for the Women’s game in general it’s great. We’ve had four teams over the last three years, and it’s been awesome, but I think now to expand and have more teams means we have more girls playing and giving a name for themselves, it’s great.
“The quality of football is going to be awesome. I’m really excited to see how the new teams go and how they get put together but I think it’s going to be a pretty strong competition overall.”
More NRLW on Roosters.com.au