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Rooster Simon primed to return with baby on board

When Taleena Simon runs out onto ANZ Stadium on Saturday afternoon she'll have a new little addition cheering her on who wasn't around when she last visited the ground.

An inaugural Rooster during the club's 2018 NRLW campaign, Simon was touted as one of the next best players coming through the women's ranks during the competition's inaugural year.

Her season started with an Origin debut, then a Roosters contract, but soon ended with a cruel syndesmosis injury suffered at the Olympic Park venue.

Between the two-year layoff, Simon gave birth to a little boy, Eli, last year.

"I had surgery on my ankle and then I fell pregnant not too long after," Simon tells NRL.com.

"I just didn't tell anyone I was pregnant until about the five-month mark, I just told people I didn't want to play footy anymore.

"I always wanted to come back but was also just eager to have some time away. I'm enjoying it (motherhood), you're always on your toes and time seems to fly."

 
 
 
 
 
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2019 what a year it has been. Grateful to have you both.

A post shared by Taleena Simon (@taleenasimon) on

What Simon is proud of most in her own post-pregnancy journey is doing it her own way.

The 27-year-old said she lost her baby weight "pretty quick" and visited a women's physio regularly to help her get back into shape.

"I'm still working on it and am trying to get stronger and fitter," she said.

"It's certainly not easy and takes a lot of commitment. It's just about working on those little things after a pregnancy."

Simon's recall to an in-form Roosters line-up came through players being rested ahead of the grand final against the Broncos in a fortnight.

However, her position on the wing may be a lot more secure for the big dance on October 25 now with Charlotte Caslick's season-ending back injury opening the door for Simon to remain in the side.

Simon's name went down in the history books as the first player to score four tries in a match, including a 10-minute hat-trick, with her 2018 heroics unlikely to be eclipsed any time soon.

Her overall try-scoring record has only been overtaken by Jessica Sergis and Julia Robinson this season, with five tries apiece for the pair across three years of the competition.

"I don't know if I'll be able to pull that (four tries) off again, we'll have to wait and see," Simon grins.

"Anything can happen in this competition and we're looking really good. I definitely think we're a chance of going all the way. I just can't wait to get back out there."

Roosters v Broncos - Round 3

As for Simon's long-term goal – a long-awaited Jillaroos debut remains an ambition.

"It's definitely on the bucket list," she said.

"It's something I haven't achieved yet and something I want to go for.

"There's a lot of talented young girls coming through and it's certainly got a lot faster. It's very good to see because it will only get the women's game better."