Rebecca Smyth uses the word "retired" pretty loosely.
Fair enough too, given the back-rower has claimed the ACT Brumbies' Helen Taylor Players' Player of the Year award - two seasons after she was supposedly hanging up the boots.
"I retired after I went to France to play, I 'retired', because I had my last child. I was watching the girls play in Super W and it's just that feeling of 'I just want to be out there'," Smyth said.
"I sort of shyly approached it with my husband. I thought maybe I could just do this. When we were talking about it and said 'yep, let's have a crack', I don't even then think we knew how much time it takes.
"It's such big days of travel, those days are crazy. However, I love it, he loves it, and the girls are really welcoming to him and the kids. Once I get there and get out of the car, it's just all worth it."
Smyth travels four and a half hours from Narromine to Canberra for training sessions. Now she joins versatile front-rower Louise Burrows and rising star Lillyann Mason-Spice as the Brumbies' award winners this season.
Burrows was named the members' choice player of the year while Mason-Spice's scintillating start to the campaign saw her claim the club's most outstanding young player award.
Smyth has been playing with Burrows "forever, because Cookie has been playing forever". Beyond that, she suggests she is something of an "outsider" that can't stay away.
"If it wasn't for the girls and for the coaching staff, I don't think I would still be able to do it. The girls are just fresh, they're young, they're just so keen to learn," Smyth said.
"They fortunately keep me wanting to keep coming back. As much as my husband says 'is this your last year yet?' I keep thinking there's one more left in me."
That will be music to the ears of Brumbies coach Dan Hawke.
"We're so proud of our team for their commitment and improvements this season, but these three definitely deserve their honours," Hawke said.
"Rebecca was unbelievable for us, a dream to work with in all aspects and someone who thoroughly deserves this award.
"Cookie as well, it's incredible the performances she continues to put in and with Maso we had the pleasure of watching a star in the making and I believe this year was just the beginning for her."
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