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Black Fern Kendra Cocksedge admits 29-year rugby career starting to 'take its toll'

Former World Rugby player of the year Kendra Cocksedge is the latest to open up about her struggles, telling 1 NEWS decades of playing rugby union at the top has led to physical and mental fatigue.

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Cocksedge is the latest to open up about her struggles with the game. Source: 1 NEWS

Covid-19 certainly hasn’t helped, pushed out the Rugby World Cup by an entire year resulting in a grind of uncertainty for Cocksedge.

“I was like, ‘Holy heck, what am I going to do?’” Cocksedge said.

For decades, all Cocksedge has known is rugby; from playing in her brother's team to playing at the highest level.

But she admits it’s starting to catch up with her.

“For someone who's been at that top stage for 15 years and played rugby for 29 years, it's going to take its toll somewhere.”

It comes a week after fellow Black Fern Chelsea Alley opened up on the realities of women's rugby, stating she is struggling too due to needing to juggle her love for the game with three jobs.

"For me personally this week - it's working THREE jobs because I have bills to pay. It's playing in THREE different teams in a week and being expected to switch on & perform well in all of them,” Alley wrote in the emotional “reality check” on social media.

“I need to lead by example in Club, FPC & Super Rugby - all of these teams we don't get paid anything AT ALL to play for."

Cocksedge told 1 NEWS she has been struggling too, making the tough decision to have a break from club rugby this season for the first time in 13 years.

“A lot of athletes do go through the same thing and I think for someone who's been around a long time, it's important to do that,” she said.

“My focus is a World Cup next year and getting my body physically and mentally ready for that.”

There’s still 18 months until that World Cup but Cocksedge said the break - so far – is having the desired effect before she returns for Canterbury later this year with an eye on a fifth Farah Palmer Cup crown.