Women's NRL Grand Final
Women's NRL Grand Final

QLD great heads south for NRLW 2020

QUEENSLAND great Stephanie Hancock will head south for NRLW 2020, with the 38-year-old to join the Dragons after two years at the Broncos.

Hancock, who has won two premierships with Brisbane, will be unveiled in the Dragons' 22-player squad on Thursday morning.

Speaking exclusively to News Sport, Hancock revealed she still had interest from the Broncos, and the Warriors, but ultimately saw a new challenge for herself at St George Illawarra.

With a young forward pack at the Dragons, the former Australian Jillaroo says she wants to help bring the next generation through while also playing alongside her Souths Logan teammate Elsie Albert, who has also secured her first NRLW contract.

Steph Hancock playing for the Broncos in last year’s NRLW competition. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images.
Steph Hancock playing for the Broncos in last year’s NRLW competition. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images.

"It was a tough decision," Hancock said.

"I like the word loyal and that's what I think am but if I am going to take all this time off work and still play the game I love, then I could see my best opportunity was at the Dragons.

"The Dragons are going to be a new challenge, something different.

"After talking to the Dragons coach (Daniel Lacey), they've got a young forward pack there and I gathered I would definitely get something out of being there and helping them that I would appreciate and be grateful for.

"Plus I told Elsie I wanted to play with her if she got a contract."

Hancock and Albert will begin a road trip down to Woollongong on Sunday, with the season to kick off next week in line with the NRL finals series.

A Queensland police officer and mother, Hancock is looking at taking up to 10 weeks away from both her job and her family due to the length of the season, a two-week quarantine period upon her return to the Sunshine State and the likelihood she will play State of Origin on November 13.

She said it's a massive sacrifice but she didn't want to miss out on NRLW or Origin, especially if this proves to be her final season in the game.

"Financially I would have been better staying at work and doing my job but I'm fortunate to have holidays and long service leave," she said.

"My daughter and I made our mind up together that I would go. That's something I am going to struggle with but thank goodness for technology."

Former Rugby Sevens player Lauren Brown has signed with the Broncos. Picture: Glenn Hampson.
Former Rugby Sevens player Lauren Brown has signed with the Broncos. Picture: Glenn Hampson.

Meanwhile, former Aussie Sevens gun Lauren Brown has become the latest Rugby star to make the code switch for NRLW 2020.

With Charlotte Caslick at the Roosters, and Ellia Green and Evania Pelite at the Warriors, Brown while don a Broncos jersey in a bid to help them to their third straight premiership.

Broncos women's CEO Tain Drinkwater said Brown has always wanted to play rugby league and will now get her chance in Brisbane,

"She has followed the Broncos all her life and is really passionate abou rugby league as a game," Drinkwater said.

"Her athleticism and sporting passion can be seen by all the different sports she's touched.

"As a young woman, she fits the mould of being a Bronco. She's very humble and grateful for the opportunity but trains hard and understands the importance of being part of this team."

The Broncos are the only team yet to announce their full squad.

NRLW SIGNINGS TRACKER - UPDATED SEPTEMBER 24

BRONCOS

Re-signed: Ali Brigginshaw (captain), Tarryn Aiken, Millie Boyle, Annette Brander, Jessika Elliston, Lavinia Gould, Amber Hall, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Raecene McGregor, Julia Robinson, Tamika Upton, Meg Ward.

 

Gains: Tyler Birch (Holcim Cup), Lauren Brown (Rugby Sevens), Jayme Fressard (NSW Women's Premiership), Tallisha Harden (Roosters), Shannon Mato (rugby union), Romy Teitzel (Holcim Cup).

 

DRAGONS

Re-signed: Kezie Apps, Shaylee Bent, Sam Bremner, Keeley Davis, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili, Rikeya Horne, Tiana Penitani, Jessica Sergis, Maddie Studdon, Shakiah Tungai, Maddison Weatherall

 

Gains: Elsie Albert (Holcim Cup), Teagan Berry (NSW Women's Premiership), Jaime Chapman (development player), Jade Etherden (NSW Women's Premiership), Steph Hancock (Broncos), Talei Holmes (NSW Women's Premiership), Ellie Johnston (NSW Women's Premiership), Isabelle Kelly (Roosters), Mahalia Murphy (rugby union), Georgia Page (rugby union), Christine Pauli (NSW Women's Premiership).

 

ROOSTERS

Re-signed: Quincy Dodd, Vanessa Foliaki, Melanie Howard, Bobbi Law, Amelia Mafi, Nita Maynard, Corban McGregor, Brydie Parker, Shanice Parker, Zahara Temara, Simaima Taufa, Hannah Southwell.

 

Gains: Charlotte Caslick (Rugby Sevens), Kennedy Cherrington (rugby union), Grace Hamilton (rugby union), Filomina Hanisi (NSW Women's Premiership), Jocelyn Kelleher (NSW Women's Premiership), Yasmin Meakes (rugby union and NSW Women's Premiership), Kaitlyn Phillips (NSW Women's Premiership), Taleena Simon (NSW Women's Premiership), Sarah Togatuki (Dragons), Botille Vette-Welsh (Dragons).

 

WARRIORS

Re -signed: Madison Bartlett, Georgia Hale, Kanyon Paul, Hilda Peters, Crystal Tamarua.

 

Gains: Stephanie Ball (NSW Women's Premiership), Karina Brown (Roosters), Brianna Clark (Holcim Cup), Kirra Dibb (Roosters), Samantha Economos (NSW Women's Premiership), Tazmin Gray (Broncos), Ellia Green (Rugby Sevens), Teaghan Hartigan (Holcim Cup), Naomi Kara (NSW Women's Premiership), Taimane Levu (Holcim Cup), Laken Paitai (Holcim Cup), Kayla Peck (Holcim Cup), Evania Pelite (Rugby Sevens), Shaniah Power (Holcim Cup), Kayla Sauvao (NSW Women's Premiership), Simone Smith (Roosters), Shontelle Stowers (Roosters).


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