Courtney Winfield-Hill is a household name in women’s rugby league in the UK.
The Leeds Rhinos star has spearheaded the rise of the game on English shores, having arrived here in 2018 from her homeland of Australia.
Queensland-born former cricketer Winfield-Hill has enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with Leeds having accumulated over 400 points in her time at the Headingley club.
However, in 2019, she nearly gave up the 13-man game as she revealed in an interview with Super League that a call from Rhinos great Kevin Sinfield convinced her to change her mind.
“At the back end of 2019 Kev Sinfield just said to me, what are you doing next year? And I said, I don’t know if I’m going to play rugby league again,” said Winfield-Hill.
She continued: “He sort of just planted a seed and said you might want to because at three years you’re eligible to play for England.”
As it turns out, Sinfield was able to convince Winfield-Hill to make a U-turn and the 35-year-old is now part of the England camp for the Rugby League World Cup, having just led Leeds Rhinos to Super League glory.
Going into detail on how she came to the decision, Winfield Hill added: “I toyed with the idea and I was backwards and forwards in my own mind about how does that sit with me?
“Obviously being Australian, should I play for England? But this is where I’ve probably done my rugby league apprenticeship so to speak.
“And I asked myself if there was two jerseys on the fence and Australia was playing England, which jersey would I pick up?
“I just thought to myself I would pick up an England jersey because I probably have a deeper connection with the people and they are my day in day out friends.
“I knew which players I wanted to play alongside and that made my decision easier.”