18th August 2018, 19:15 | womens_super_league
Gemma Walsh column
Wigan Warriors captain Gemma Walsh had already enjoyed a stellar career on both the club and international stage before retiring.
But the launch of the Wigan Warriors' Women's team inspired her to return to the pitch, and she has guided her new side to a fine first-ever campaign so far.
She spoke to rugby-league.com ahead of this weekend's huge derby with St Helens:
"My first season out of retirement has been really enjoyable so far.
"It took some time to get used to the hits again but I'm really enjoying it, especially with it being Wigan as well - a team I've supported since I was a kid.
"There's been a bit more of a buzz around the women's game compared to last time I played.
"My dad played for Wigan in the early 80s so it's a really proud feeling to follow in his footsteps. It's a nice thing for the family - it's really special to say we've both played for Wigan.
"We beat St Helens early on in the season - it was a really good game and a tough one, too. Quite evenly-matched.
"I think it will be tougher this time. We've both got better during the season so it should be a really high quality match.
"We'll take confidence from the fact that we beat them, but they're a young side and they will be improving all the time so we won't underestimate them.
"We beat Leeds on Sunday which was a big result for us.
"They've had the upper hand on us this year, knocking us out of the cup as well as beating us at home.
"But we found a new level this time and took what could turn out to be a really big win come the end of the season.
"For the rest of the year, we just want to keep doing what we're doing. We've gone about our business quietly so far and we might surprise a few people if we manage to make the play-offs.
"To anyone out there who wants to know what to expect this weekend; its a traditional derby. We hate them, they hate us!
"If you want to watch two quality sides give it to each other and play some great rugby - come along on Sunday!"
Wigan travel to face St Helens on Sunday (August 19), 2pm kick off, at Thatto Heath Crusaders.