It is the story the Hastings Valley Vikings hope will inspire the next generation of female rugby players.
Talei Qalo Wilson created club history on Sunday when she became the Vikings' first-ever rugby international in Fiji's 28-14 women's tri-series rugby loss to Japan.
Emotions ran high when Talei ran out at fullback in front of her family at Bond University in Queensland, including dad Mick Wilson who was in the stands.
"I was bawling my eyes out," he said.
"I'll take some of the credit [for Talei's progress], but there's a tonne of other people that have been involved with her as well. There's a saying that it takes a village to raise a child and that's so true."
Mr Wilson said his daughter's performance in the 14-point loss was impressive and while she didn't cross for a try, she did play her part in setting up one of their two tries.
"The focus is nearly always on the person who scores the try, but it all came back to that initial setting up which Talei did," he said.
"She's hard on herself so will always identify the things that she needs to do better."
The 28-14 scoreline showed some significant improvement since the last time Fiji played Japan more than five years ago.
"The Japanese are so extraordinarily technically perfect, but the last time Fiji and Japan played in was 55-0 or 55-5 or something."
Rugby union flows in the family blood with Talei's grandfather representing Fiji against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1969.
"That was always a feature in her upbringing and in our family history, rugby has always been a big thing," Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson said his daughter first learned the game of rugby when she started playing in the Friday night junior competitions in Port Macquarie as a seven-year-old in 2003.
Her team was the first team to have girls who made up half of the team before Talei was the first and only girl to make the Port representative side in 2007.
She then progressed to the Hastings Valley Vikings Helgas as a 12-year-old before she moved to Canberra in 2013.
But in between her first game for rugby and her first international appearance, Talei had to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament which she had to pay for herself to get repaired.
Should she impress enough to be selected in the Fijian squad for the World Cup, Mr Wilson knows there will have to be some sacrifices made along the way.
"She wants to go to the World Cup and it's a giant disruption to life where she'll have to either quit work or make some arrangement with her work," he said.
"But it's what she wants to do. They've been really good, she works for the education department who gave her sport leave."
The 27-year-old will hope to impress again on Friday (May 6) when the Fijians clash with Australia as they continue their preparations for the postponed World Cup in New Zealand this October.
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