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Aussie league veteran plans to play on

Steph Hancock breaks free duringthe World Cup match against the Cook Islands.
Steph Hancock breaks free duringthe World Cup match against the Cook Islands. CRAIG GOLDING

RUGBY LEAGUE: Jillaroos star Steph Hancock will continue to play club football in 2018, spurred on by the announcement earlier this week that the NRL will host it's first women's premiership next year.

The long-serving Australian forward wore her last green and gold jersey on Saturday, as the Jillaroos claimed World Cup glory over the Kiwi Ferns.

But Hancock is not ready to hang up the boots all together, dedicating herself to one more year of club football.

The former Easts Tigers leader said that the reintroduction of a Souths Logan team to the womens' southeast Queensland competition was one reason why she has decided to kick on at the club level.

But she said the introduction of a NRL competition was an added motivation to stay in the game just a bit longer.

"Whoever would have thought this would happen,” the 35-year-old said.

"I thought I would be well and truly retired by the time something like this came around.

"If I have the opportunity and I am still fit, I would definitely love to be involved in something like this.”

"I promised a couple of younger kids I would play club footy one more year ... but this is definitely motivating.”

For someone who has been playing rugby league for 14 years, Hancock said the most important thing now was to make sure the competition is the best product possible.

The 35-year-old - who is a mother-of-one and a police officer - will also start to take courses in coaching over the coming months, with a view to staying in the game once she does hang up her boots for good.

And as for whether her continued club career could lead to one last stint in a Queensland jersey, Hancock said everyone will just have to wait and see how her form is come June.

"If I'm still playing good footy and cutting it against those young buggers, and they say to me that my spot is still there, by all means I would definitely have one more crack at NSW,” she said.

"I can't sleep at night still (after July's loss). It's a bit better now that I'm a world champion, but it still isn't a good feeling.”


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