Sport

Killarney star lining up for her beloved Maroons for last time

Heather Ballinger and Stephanie Hancock at a Queensland training camp last season.
Heather Ballinger and Stephanie Hancock at a Queensland training camp last season. Kylie Cox

RUGBY LEAGUE: Stephanie Hancock will captain the Harvey Norman Queensland women's team for the last time in an Interstate Challenge game against New South Wales on Sunday at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

Hancock is originally from Killarney and is in the starting front row along with former Scots PGC student Heather Ballinger.

The Queensland side relinquished the Nellie Doherty Cup for the first time last year after previously going 17 years undefeated in the contest.

As well as hoping to perform well in the big game, players from both sides will also be competing for a spot in the Jillaroos squad to participate in the Women's Rugby League World Cup which starts in November.

Hancock has already announced she will retire after the World Cup along with teammate Renae Kunst. The Maroons go into camp tomorrow at the Gold Coast.

The interstate game will be played as a double-header with the Round 20 Harvey Norman Women in League match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Manly Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium.

Warwick will also have a friendly face in the commentary team with retired Jillaroos player Jo Barrett part of the team for the first live broadcast of a women's interstate game.

While the interstate game has been live streamed in the past and televised in a delayed broadcast, this year's interstate game will be the first with live television coverage.

Barrett will be part of the commentary team with caller Matthew Russell, retired Australian hooker Danny Baderus and Megan Barnard who will be the sideline eye.

"Stephanie is getting fitter every day, she and Heather are so passionate about playing for Queensland,” Barrett said.

"I am confident both will make the World Cup team. The live broadcast on Sunday will be great for the women's game.”

Barrett won a World Cup in combination with Hancock and Ballinger in 2013 and was part of many interstate successes and makes no apology for being a one-eyed Queenslander.

The game will be televised live from 11.30am Sunday on Fox Sports.


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