She's determined on helping Orange Emus to a Westfund Ferguson Cup grand final berth this weekend but following her astonishing international sevens debut last week Jacky Lyden said her long-term focus is returning to the world stage later this year.
Emus face CSU Bathurst in Saturday's preliminary final at Endeavour Oval, a showdown Lyden comes into after inspiring the Philippines to an undefeated gold medal win in last week's Asia Rugby Women's Sevens Trophy at Jakarta.
In her maiden international tournament the 38-year-old started in the Philippines' pack as they rolled to Sunday's decider, before shifting into the backline for the final and scoring a try as her side bested Indonesia 26-7.
I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, it was amazing.Jacky Lyden
"I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, it was amazing," Lyden said, before explaining how the opportunity presented itself.
"My brother Eman went a couple of years ago to represent the Philippines and he suggested I look at that option, and once I made the (ACT) Brumbies (Super W) squad they got in touch.
"I hurt my knee which kept me out of the Super W season so originally making the Philippines team for the [South-East Asian Games] in December became my goal. But this came up and I wanted to see what it was about, and I had nothing to lose by giving it a crack.
"From there it was a lot of [liaising with high performance coaches and fitness testing] before I flew out and went straight into camp, which was full on. They told us we'd made the team last Monday, and that was really emotional.
"They wanted me in the forwards, as a hooker, which was really different. I've been in the scrum before but in the front-row in sevens and lifting and that sort of thing, it was totally different.
"To win, it was just incredible."
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The Philippines were promoted to Asia's top sevens tier thanks to the win and they have an Olympic qualifying event in November, however the program's main focus is the South-East Asian Games Lyden mentioned.
That tournament, in the Philippines, is where Lyden's hoping she'll get her next crack at the international level, but she did admit she's "got a bit on" between now and then.
Not just in rugby terms either.
While she'll be gunning to lead Emus to premiership glory she's still chasing a spot in the NSW Country Corellas side, while she'll also be a focal point of the Orange Physiotherapy Vipers' Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup finals campaign and Orange Hawks' Group 10 league tag title bid too.
"I'll probably be playing in the [Western Women's Rugby League] with Vipers again too," Lyden laughed, that's not to mention potentially getting another chance with the Brumbies as well.
"Originally my priority was rugby this year because I'm just in love with the game. It's so out of my comfort zone and it's always challenging me and now it's given me some amazing opportunities that I'm so grateful for.
"But I found I was missing netball. It definitely helps too because the skills you get from all those games are transferrable, and it's the fitness side of everything that I really love.
"It has been a bit difficult to manage but I'm trying to juggle them all, I just love them all."
In Saturday's Westfund Ferguson Cup preliminary finals Lyden and her Emus take on the students from 10.30am at Endeavour Oval, while Bathurst Bulldogs play Narromine from 11.30am.
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