Renee Targett’s decision to hang up the boots at the conclusion of the Dragons’ final round clash against the Broncos came as a shock to many within the club but the soon-to-be 29-year-old maintains that the time was right to make the transition to life after footy.
Having made a name for herself with the Australian women’s gridiron team before making the shift to rugby league, Targett linked up with the Red V prior to the 2021 NRLW season and has proven to be a valuable squad member both on and off the field.
She earnt a call-up to the Blues’ State of Origin squad in 2021 and again in 2022 before co-captaining the Philippines in their end-of-year international versus Malta.
Targett says that the decision to retire was not one she took lightly but that she is excited for the next chapter of her life.
“It’s very nerve-racking, but more exciting,” Targett said.
“I had been thinking about it for about a month or so now, just deciding whether I wanted to go another year. As much as my body says, ‘I’ll do it if you want me to,’ it’s also telling me, whispering in the background, I think, you know, ‘I’m ready for you to take care of me.’ As much as I want to mentally, I’m there and, you know, I’ve put the feelers out that I want to step into coaching after this, so mentally, emotionally, I’m still there. Physically, my body’s like, you know, it’s time.”
Targett, who has spent the entirety of her NRLW career with the Dragons, is thankful for the memories that she has made at the place that she says will always be “home”.
“It is a place that I love, the place that I’m always going to call home,” she said.
“I’ve been here, and only here for my NRLW career, so it’s something that I’ll always cherish and, you know, I’m always going to be a Dragon… It’s something that I’m never going to have taken away from me.”
She is also thankful for the role that her teammates have played throughout her career and is hoping to cap her playing career off with a win in front of the Netstrata Jubilee faithful.
“I’ve just got to appreciate that and just put out the gratitude that I have for having such an amazing team over the many years that I’ve played,” she said.
“[My teammates were] mostly like all happy for me. A lot of shocked people, I think. I imagine a lot of people just assumed I would go again and, I mean, it’s not that I wanted to shock everyone. It was just a decision that, you know, I’d been feeling for a little bit that was on the horizon… Just really excited to go out and get a win for them.”
Dragons skipper Raecene McGregor was one of those teammates surprised by the announcement but is eager to play a part in sending Targett out on a high come Saturday night.
“It was a bit of a shock,” McGregor said.
“It’s a little bit disappointing for the club, you know, losing such a good player like Renee, so hopefully we can get out there on the weekend and send her off with a win.”