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'Wally's the king and Murph's the queen': Hancock's admiration for new Titan

When you ask Steph Hancock about Karyn Murphy, there's nothing but excitement and admiration for the G.O.A.T of women's rugby league.

Former teammates with Souths Logan, Queensland and Australia, the pair have shared plenty of great moments on and off the field and it's no surprise the classic Murphy to Hancock combination was a winner, no matter the colours the duo were wearing. 

Fast-forward to 2022, the veteran rugby league prop has just signed on the dotted line in her 20th year - and arguably her best to date - and nothing can hide her anticipation to link up with her old mate again to help deliver premiership success to the Gold Coast Titans.  

"I am honestly so excited. Having Karyn Murphy and Matty Geyer as our coaching staff... considering I got to play my entire career just about with Karyn Murphy, it's a little bit exciting that I now get to get coached by her," Hancock said.

"If she's anything like the way she was as a player, I think the Titans have the brightest future. I always say she's the queen of women's football.

"You've got your King Wally and we have our Queen Karyn."

Dominating as one of the greatest halfbacks in her era, Hancock believes it's the former champion playmaker's footy instinct and prowess that has made her a winner in her illustrious rugby league career.

"I just think her footy brain is the ultimate. I haven't come across anyone that even really honestly comes close to Murph," Hancock said.

"I could speak about her all day, I have that much respect for her. She's one of my idols and to be able to play and now get coached by her is going to be amazing."

Publicly declaring she was going to play on earlier this year at the 2021 NRLW Awards Night - with a little help from legendary Queenslander Gorden Tallis - the decision to go around again was made easier by the immense support shown for the growing women's game on the Coast by the proud and passionate Titans hierarchy.  

"Gordy was sort of egging me on a bit there and talking absolute you know what (to encourage me to keep playing), but I'm honoured to represent the Titans again," Hancock said.

"The owners - Darryl and Joanne Kelly and Rebecca and Brett Frizelle - that came to every game, our footy manager, Dennis (Watt), Steve Mitchell - one of the nicest blokes I know... to come back and be able to put a Titans jumper on again, it's going to be amazing."

Hancock crashes over

The rugby league legend also is inspired to return and help guide the next generation of players that ooze talent and energy.

"Most of these kids are under 20 years of age, so to get to train all week with them, I get to feel young again," Hancock said.

"I'm just so excited to see what they're going to bring to the competition in the next couple of years, so I honestly think the Titans will be in the finals, for sure."

The 2022 NRLW season is set to kick-off in August and the Titans are aiming for grand final glory after coming so close in their inaugural season. Show your support with a NRLW membership - on sale now ready for '22!

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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