GROUP Three Rugby League's women's league tag player of the year, Sarah O'Connor from Taree City, admits playing in the NRL women's competition is an enticing prospect.
This is the second time O'Connor has won the player of the year, following her success in 2014 when she was with Old Bar. She is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.
O'Connor's busy sporting life includes league tag, football and touch football. But it's the burgeoning women's rugby league scene that interests her.
Four teams played in the inaugural NRLW last year and the same four will kick off in this season's competition.
O'Connor has form in league. A halfback, she represented North Coast Bulldogs this year in the Country Women's Championship.
"We made the final and on the way we knocked out Riverina and they had two Australian representatives,'' she explained.
O'Connor was later named in an Emerging Blues squad. This gave her the opportunity to train with the NSW Origin women's side at the NSW Centre of Excellence. It was an experience she enjoyed.
The NRL has plans to eventually expand the number of sides in the NRLW and clubs would look to country areas to bolster their rosters.
"Definitely,'' O'Connor replied when asked if she would be interested should the opportunity arise to play NRLW.
"I'll grab it with both hands.''
O'Connor will play with Old Bar in the Group Three women's nines beginning next month and will also start in the North Coast women's 13-a-side competition to kick off early next year. She's hoping to retain her place in the North Coast squad in 2020.
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"I wish we had the opportunity to play more tackle football here during the year,'' she said.
O'Connor was happy with her efforts with the Bulls in this year's league tag competition, where the side finished fourth.
"We were a new team with a lot of young players, so we probably did better than expected,'' she said.
O'Connor alternates between halfback and fullback.
"I drop back to take the kicks,'' she said.
O'Connor's kicking game is one of her strengths along with her ability to put supports into gaps. However she believes the emphasis in league tag is changing.
"It seems to be favouring the younger, faster, touch football players,'' she said.
O'Connor started out as a soccer player with Wingham Wanderers as a six-year-old and was soon representing at Mid North Coast level.
Sport and training have been secondary to studying for a university degree, which she completes this year.