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Hilder, Toovey take over NSW Origin women

Geoff Toovey will return to coaching as the assistant for the NSW women’s State of Origin side under Kylie Hilder.

The NSW Rugby League confirmed on Wednesday that Hilder would take the reins from Andrew Patmore after last year’s Origin loss to Queensland.

The 44-year-old Hilder was still playing for NSW as recently as last year, when the Blues suffered their first loss to Queensland under the Origin banner.

She becomes the first women to coach the team in 10 years.

“To have played Origin just last year with this group and now to be coaching them in the next year is a privilege and something I certainly won’t take for granted,” Hilder, who retired from playing at the end of last season, said.

“I have said in the past that more female coaches needed to be introduced in order for the game to thrive.”

Meanwhile, Toovey has not had an official coaching role since being sacked by Manly at the end of 2015 after four years in charge of the NRL club.

The Sea Eagles legend has applied for several roles since then and regularly been considered a contender without landing the job.

The moves come after Queensland split with coach Jason Hetherington last week, wanting someone to take on an expanded role with more involvement in clubs.

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