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Hilder the mother hen getting better with age

She is referred to as the mother hen by her teammates but Kylie Hilder is showing no signs of slowing down.

The 42-year-old will make history when she runs out for the Sydney Roosters as the oldest woman to play in the inaugural NRL Holden Women's Premiership on Saturday.

Fitness, training and diet are all key elements in her ability to keep in touch with the growing demands of the women's game.

"Some of the girls don't even know how old I am so it never comes up, I don't let it affect me," Hilder told

"It's just a number and I'm still keeping up. I've done it for most of my career, I retired at 40 from national level touch footy.

"I always say to myself that I'm like a red wine, always get better with age. If you want something and train hard, and sure it's not easy ... I've got to put in extra training and recover properly but that's what I strive for."


Saturday session done with the girls. #EastsToWin #NRLW #samegame #ourway

A post shared by Kylie Hilder (@kyliehilder) on

Hilder has endured a tough year with a knee injury putting an end to her Holden State of Origin dream at North Sydney Oval in June.

The Roosters recruit took up a position in the commentary for Fox Sports instead as she watched her Blues teammates close out a 16-10 win.

"I haven't had an injury like that for a long time so it hit me low," Hilder said.

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"To be told by Ben Cross I was going to be a part of his Origin team, for the first time it got me down.

"I felt I earned that spot and was physically and mentally feeling fit, to then have it taken away. And then this came up with the Roosters and I thought maybe it happened for a reason, it's given me some more time off to be fresher."

The mum of two hails from the Hunter Valley and works in the game as a women's participation officer for the Country Rugby League.

"I see a lot of talent out in the country but what we're doing with the women's game at Country Rugby League is trying to make sure we're keeping up so we've got players coming through to progress to an elite level," Hilder said.

"It's all becoming very real. There's been so much hype for us over a long time and working in the game I've seen behind the scenes of what's been happening."

Hilder has swapped her grassroots love of the game for eight weeks of the city life while linking with the Tricolours over August and September.

Her sons Ashton and Nate are relishing the relationship between the Roosters' women's and men's sides too, with a recent birthday message from Cooper Cronk organised through their mum.

"My 14-year-old [Ashton] is a massive footy fan, I think that as well when I'm doing all of this – seeing how excited he is to be a part of this journey," Hilder said.

"Cooper is one of those players my son idolises and I'm happy he does. That's who you want your kids looking up to."

Acknowledgement of Country

National 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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