Courtney Hill to play for Sydney Roosters Women in NRL 9s

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 27/07/2019 - Rugby League - Coral Women's Challenge Cup Final - Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers - University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton, England - Leeds's Courtney Hill with the Coral Women's Challenge Cup trophy after victory over Castleford.

Leeds Rhinos Women’s captain and Woman of Steel, Courtney Hill, is set to play with NRL Women’s side Sydney Roosters in the NRL Nines which takes place in February.

The Rhinos have agreed to release Hill to play in the tournament but the Australian will return for the start of the Women’s Super League season.

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

All 16 NRL clubs and four NRLW sides will compete in the revamped concept. The men’s competition will feature four pools, while the women will play a round-robin.

Speaking about the decision Hill, who helped the Rhinos to a league and cup double last season said: “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.  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.

“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 and 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.

“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, so 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. 

“I love playing for Leeds and the club and players have been really supportive during my time there.  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.”

Leon Crick, Leeds Rhinos Women’s Manager 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 that she has that in her! 

“When she mentioned the idea both me and Cuthbo 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 that 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!”

The Women’s team kick off their season on 29th March against Bradford Bulls. To view the full fixture list CLICK HERE.