COMING HOME: Former Jillaroo and current Queensland forward Steph Hancock (left) will line up for the South West Mustangs at the 47th Battalion weekend.
COMING HOME: Former Jillaroo and current Queensland forward Steph Hancock (left) will line up for the South West Mustangs at the 47th Battalion weekend. Gerard Walsh

Rugby league legend returns to Toowoomba

RUGBY LEAGUE: Steph Hancock is returning to where her illustrious club career began, as she prepare to lace up the boots for the South West Mustangs next month.

The move is a huge boost for the representative side as they gear up for the 47th Battalion weekend at Glenholme Park on May 5 and 6.

Hancock said finding out she was eligible for the Mustangs was an opportunity she had to jump at.

"I was sent an e-mail, and worked out where I played my first club game of football,” Hancock said.

"Some phone calls were made and I was able to come back and play for the Mustangs, Central Queensland and Queensland Country.

"None of this has ever happened before. It'll be great to be back in Toowoomba, and having weekend out there will be great for country footy.”

She said the opportunity to play alongside some of Toowoomba's brightest talents in Molly O' Connell and Emily Young was something she was excited about.

"I'm stoked that they're going to let me come back out and play footy with them,” she said.

"It will be great to run alongside the younger players.”

The Killarney-born forward's first taste of club football came for the Fillies back in 2003.

She was asked to play for the Toowoomba-based side after starring in a match she helped organise, between the Fillies and a composite Warwick-Killarney team.

Currently she is playing for Souths Magpies in the BRL A-grade, and lined up opposite the Valleys Fillies in their first ever game in the top division.

Hancock said the development of the club was huge for the code in the Toowoomba region.

"The Fillies making the move (to A-grade) is a great thing for the club,” she said.

"We played them in the first round and there is new talent there. It's a great thing, still growing the game.

"I'm happy they're in division one, and it's great to see the chances they are getting.

"I think it's great that girls from all ages now have the opportunity to play league. Being a female athlete, we never had these opportunities when I played. Now they can play from juniors and get through to opens.”

South West Mustangs coach Richard Dugdale said having someone with the history and respect that Hancock commanded was a big coup for the club.



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