Leeds Rhinos women's star Courtney Hill to play for Sydney Roosters

Courtney Hill. Picture by Garry Beevers.Courtney Hill. Picture by Garry Beevers.
Courtney Hill. Picture by Garry Beevers.
Leeds Rhinos' Woman of Steel Courtney Hill will play for Sydney Roosters in next month’s NRL Nines.

The Australian half-back will then return to Rhinos for their Betfred Women’s Super League campaign which begins in March.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed earlier that Hill has committed herself to Leeds for this year, but would “jump at” the chance to play in Australia at some stage.

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The Nines will take place on the weekend of February 14 and 15, with men’s and women’s NRL teams taking part at Perth’s HBF Park.

Hill, Leeds’ captain, said: “I am lucky that I will still be able to return to the Rhinos after playing in the Nines as it doesn’t clash with our fixtures.

“It’s a good chance for me to go over there and do some pre-season training in a match form. I hope I will be able to learn from playing in a different environment and then I can come back to Leeds a better player and help the team. “

She insisted: “I love playing for Leeds and the club and players have been really supportive during my time here.

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“The plan is to play for the Roosters in the Nines and then I get married in March and then I will be back ready for the first round of the Women’s Super League with the Rhinos.”

Hill was a top cricketer in Australia before moving to England two years ago.

“At the end of last season I was trying to decide whether I was going to play cricket or rugby and when I went home to Australia in October I spoke to a few clubs as I wanted to have all my options on the table," she confirmed.

"If I stayed in rugby league I wanted to know how I could challenge myself and go up another gear as a player and as a person.

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“I have been watching how the women’s game is developing back home and it’s very exciting and enticing. I’m always looking for the next crazy thing to do and when I spoke to the Roosters they offered me the opportunity to play for them in the Nines which I thought would be a great thing to do.

“The Roosters have been great and there is a good feel to the club and I am excited to be playing for them.

"Hopefully I can contribute, learn and develop during my time there. The men’s team have enjoyed lots of success and I know the women’s team are ambitious so hopefully I can help them develop a successful women’s branch."

Rhinos have agreed to Hill's temporary move. The club's women’s manager Leon Crick said: “Courtney is such an adventurous person and it’s that side of her that brought her to Leeds in the first place, so we are lucky she has that in her.

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“When she mentioned the idea, both me and Cuthbo [coach Adam Cuthbertson] were fully behind her.

"It’s a great opportunity for her to showcase her skills, challenge herself against some of the best players in the world and also help spread the word of Women’s Super League as well.

"She showed in 2019 she was the best player in the competition in England and rightly picked up the Woman of Steel award, so I’m sure she’ll play a big part for the Roosters over the two days.

“All the squad are also fully supportive and we can’t wait to follow her from England, and we all wish her the best of luck."

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