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NRLW legend Hancock joins Dragons as injury replacement

The Dragons are thrilled to announce that Stephanie Hancock will join the club for the 2024 NRLW season.

The 42-year-old's addition to the squad comes at the unfortunate expense of Tara McGrath-West, who has been ruled out for the season with a sternum issue.

One of the sport's pioneers, Hancock made her NRLW debut for the Broncos in the competition's inaugural season in 2018 and spent two seasons there before linking up with the Red V for a year.

She has spent the past three seasons with the Titans scoring eight tries.

With two World Cup titles, 16 Queensland caps, and a record 33 NRLW appearances under her belt, Hancock brings one of the sport's great legacies to the Red V.

“I am excited to be playing under Sowie and alongside a new bunch of young talented footballers,” Hancock said.

“I'm extremely happy to be in the same team as Teagan 'Flash' Berry that’s for sure... I’ve been around a while. The club has given me an opportunity that I honestly didn’t expect. To repay them, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the playing squad on and off the field and hopefully inspire the next generation to want to play rugby league at the Dragons.”

With women's rugby league continuing on its upward trajectory, the upcoming season marks a key milestone for Hancock.

“It’s my first year of not working shift work full-time during a season, so solely concentrating just on footy is definitely one aspect I’m excited about,” she said.

“I’m grateful to the Queensland Police Service for giving me time off to join the Dragons and I’m thankful to the club and Sowie for giving me the opportunity to go around in the NRLW one last time.”

NRLW head coach Jamie Soward is disappointed to have lost McGrath-West for the side's 2024 campaign but is confident that Hancock will prove a more than handy replacement.

“Tara has been an instrumental piece around our club and does so many great things, so she’s going to be a huge loss,” Soward said.

“We were really lucky that Steph – one of the greatest front rowers to ever play the game – fell into our lap and it’s a really big signing for our club; not only because of her talents on the field but the way that she carries herself off it. She’s an upstanding person in what she does away from footy as well… We’re really looking forward to having Steph back and seeing what she can do on the field and off it helping to nurture our elite, young talent.”

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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