FIVE years ago when Darcie Morrison took the first step towards a rugby sevens career it came via an online application for physical testing - so much has changed since then.
On Sunday Morrison was at Ashwood Park to help run the first talent identification session of a joint program with Sydney University and Central West Rugby Union.
"It's super exciting. When Jakiya [Whitfeld] was talking to me about this I was like 'We need this'," Morrison said.
"This is something we've needed for such a long time in this area, somewhere that females can come and start building the sport in the area. It's amazing.
"It wasn't like this for me, these girls are lucky that people are starting to develop that pathway for us. For me, I pretty much got thrown in the deep end at the start."
After filling out her online application in 2015, she was drafted into the Australian Institute of Sport for testing. They identified rugby sevens as a sport she could excel in.
Less than a year later Morrison won a gold medal as part of the CSU women's rugby sevens side at the Australian University Games, was training with the NSW opens team and was selected to compete at the World University Games.
The Forbes native went on to win a silver medal with the Aussie Pearls Gold side at the Central Coast Sevens and in 2017, won gold with the Australian Development team at the Hottest Sevens in the World tournament.
In the 15-a-side format Morrison has played in a Jack Scott Cup grand final with Randwick Magic - a team she hopes to see action with this season too - and was in the Country squad for the Chikarovksi Cup.
She has enjoyed her experiences and is delighted there are better pathways in place to see more Central West females access those representative sides.
"I'd never played club. I got talent ID'd with the AIS and then thrown straight in and started training with New South Wales and it all just built from there," she said.
"But the pathway is a lot easier now. Development-wise it's good to start small and build up rather than get thrown in, because I was so nervous."