With the National Championship and State of Origin completed, the second season of the NRLW is nearing quickly. All four teams have now completed their squads, all with an interesting and exciting set of changes.
This season has seen significant changes to rules regarding recruitment, with the introduction of a cap system. Each of the four teams will be allowed to sign 22 players, all of which will be allocated points based on their highest achievement. Jillaroo and Kiwi Ferns players will be allocated 10 points, 8 points for State of Origin players, 4 points for playing in the Prime Ministers XIII, and 3 points for playing in the National Championships. These points only apply if players were selected for that representative team in 2018 or 2019, and each team will have to be between 120 and 160 points. This new rules allows for a more even competition, and encourages the signings of up and coming players.
Despite quite a few resigning, a series of loses has seen the Broncos shake up their squad. While key players such as Chelsea Baker, Ali Brigginshaw, Steph Hancock and Rona Peters have all recommitted to the Broncos in the hope of going back to back, seven players have signed with the Broncos for the first NRLW contract, including New South Wales rookie Millie Boyle. In other signings, they’ve announced the shock signing of New South Wales player Annette Brander from the Dragons and Queensland and Roosters forward Tazmin Grey.
Squad: Chelsea Baker, Heather Ballinger, Ali Brigginshaw, Steph Hancock, Rona Peters, Amber Pilley, Meg Ward, Julia Robinson, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Lavinia Gould, Taylor Mapusua, Mariah Storch, Tazmin Gray, Annette Brander, Raecene McGregor, Millie Boyle, Amber Hall, Tarryn Aiken, Amy Turner, Jessika Elliston, Rosemary Vaimili-Toalepai, Tamika Upton.
After winning only one game last season but managing the snare a grand final spot, the Roosters have a fresh squad this season. Key players such as Isabelle Kelly, Corban McGregor and Shontelle Stowers have all re-signed, but the loss of some key players has the seen some new players in the squad list. The Roosters have signed Hannah Southwell and Melanie Howard from the Dragons, Broncos forward Tallisha Harden and ex-Jillaroo Simone Smith. Some new signings include Western Australian junior and Wallaroo’s player Shanice Parker, and New South Wales star Kirra Dibb.
Squad: Karina Brown, Quincy Dodd, Vanessa Foliaki, Isabelle Kelly, Nita Maynard, Corban McGregor, Ruan Sims, Shontelle Stowers, Zahara Temara, Simaima Taufa, Hannah Southwell, Tallisha Harden, Melanie Howard, Kirra Dibb, Shanice Parker, Simone Smith, Jasmin Allende, Bobbi Law, Amelia Mafi, Aliti Namoce, Kiana Takairangi, Rebecca Young.
St George Illawarra Dragons
After having a strong team on paper and in performance last season, the Dragons have kept key players such as Kezie Apps, Shakiah Tungai and Holli Wheeler, but made some significant changes to their squad this season. Shock signings of title winning stars Brittany Breayley, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Maitua Feterika and Kimiora Nati, as well as Roosters stars Maddie Studdon and Botille Vette-Welsh are set to completely change the team from last season. Alongside new signings of Rugby 7s convert Tiana Penitani, Indigenous All Stars player Shaylee Bent and New South Wales player Takilele Katoa, Illawarra are boasting a strong side this season.
Squad: Kezie Apps, Jessica Sergis, Shakiah Tungai, Holli Wheeler, Keeley Davis, Rikeya Horne, Maddison Weatherall, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa’amausili, Maddie Studdon, Brittany Breayley, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Maitua Feterika, Kimiora Nati, Botille Vette-Welsh, Shaylee Bent, Takilele Katoa, Ngatokotoru Arakua, Sarah Togatuki, Stephanie Mooka, Najvada George, Sarah Togatuki, Alexandrea Kiriwi.
New Zealand Warriors
While none of last years Warriors side have signed with another squad, the Warriors are boasting a very new team for this years competition. They signing of Dragons centre and Kiwi Captain Honey Hireme should provide a significant boost to the squad, and help lead them to achieve more wins this season. While key players such as Hilda Mariu, Va’anessa Molia-Fraser and Krystal Rota re-signed, the new side features 11 players on their first NRLW contract.
Squad: Georgia Hale, Amber Kani, Onjeurlina Leiataua, Hilda Mariu, Va’anessa Molia-Fraser, Apii Nicholls, Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell, Annetta-Claudia Nuuausala, Krystal Rota, Aieshaleigh Smalley, Crystal Tamarua, Honey Hireme, Billy Jean Ale, Madison Bartlett, Jules Newman, Kanyon Paul, Charntay Poko, Roela Radiniyavuni, Timaima Ravisa, Tasia Seumanufagai, Atawhai Tupaea, Kathleen Wharton Keremete.
The NRLW competition will run between Friday the 13th of September and Sunday, October 6.