NRLW: Australia duo commit to Roosters as Eels sign PNG captain
The excitement continues to build for the NRLW season, with a World Cup-winning duo pledging their commitment to Sydney Roosters.
The Roosters have announced the re-signing of Dally M Centre of the Year Jessica Sergis, who helped the Jillaroos lift the World Cup at Old Trafford last autumn.
Sergis, 25, is one of the most decorated players in the short history of the NRLW. She is a Premiership winner and a Dally M Medal winner as well as having the Golden Boot and RLPA Player of the Year awards in her trophy cabinet. She has also represented the Sky Blues in the State of Origin arena.
Meanwhile, Sergis’ international team-mate Tarryn Aiken has joined the Roosters after four seasons with Brisbane Broncos.
The 23-year-old is a two-time Premiership winner. She has already made three appearances for Queensland in Origin as well as winning three caps for Australia, also playing in their World Cup final win over New Zealand last autumn.
Roosters coach John Strange said: “Jess is a key member of our squad and it’s great to welcome her back to the Roosters, just as it is to welcome a player of Tarryn’s calibre to our squad as well.”
Papua New Guinea captain joins Eels
Parramatta Eels have pulled off an impressive coup in signing Papua New Guinea captain Elsie Albert on a two-year deal.
The 26-year-old has made 15 appearances for St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRLW since 2020. She captained the Orchids at last year’s World Cup.
Albert said: “I’m looking forward to start training with the Eels. I really appreciate how they approached me and showed a genuine interest in having me here.
“Rugby league means a lot to me. It changed me as a person and changed my life after having a rough childhood growing up in PNG.
“I was given one opportunity to come to the NRLW and I grabbed it with both hands.
“It’s an honour to represent the PNG community here in Australia and be a role model for aspiring athletes back home.”
Eels head of football Mark O’Neill added: “Elsie was identified some time ago by our coach and recruitment team as a key player who matches the Eels’ style of football.
“She brings plenty of experience and leadership from her time in the game and this will be of great value to the entire squad.
“Elsie has paved the way for many young rugby league players and created huge excitement in the PNG community.
“We look forward to welcoming Elsie to pre-season training.”
NRLW schedule confirmed
The NRLW have confirmed their schedule for 2023, featuring nine rounds, double-headers and matches in primetime for the first time.
New teams include Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers.
The competition will kick off on Saturday, July 22 with a new Queensland derby clash between the Titans and Cowboys at Cbus Super Stadium, followed by premiers Newcastle taking on St George Illawarra Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The NRLW Gand Final will be played on Sunday, October 1, before the men’s decider.
Click here to see the NRL Premiership draw in full.
There will be two England internationals playing in the NRLW for the first time this season. Leeds half-back Georgia Roche, a former Woman of Steel, is expected to play for the Knights, although it has yet to be officially confirmed by the NRLW club.
Rising star Hollie-Mae Dodd has linked up with Canberra Raiders from Women’s Super League side York.
Roche and Dodd will play for England in Saturday’s mid-season test against France in Warrington.
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