The squads for the 2020 NRL Women's Telstra Premiership season have been finalised with a remarkable 39 fresh faces named across four teams ahead of round one at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
The Warriors were the most active in player recruitment after just five incumbent players were able to return to the squad due to COVID-19.
Defending premiers Brisbane have lost a plethora of experience and depth but keep a core group of players ahead of their quest for a third consecutive title.
Kelly thrilled to link with Dragons
Last year's runners-up St George Illawarra have added star centre Isabelle Kelly to an already formidable backline in one of many players to switch clubs this season.
Kelly's former club, the Roosters, have lured prized rugby sevens star Charlotte Caslick to Bondi in one of many players to cross codes this season.
Brigginshaw: The girls are really pumped
NRL Telstra Women's Premiership
The NRL Telstra Women's Premiership kicks off in October and will be aligned with the men's NRL finals series.
Rule changes to recruitment and retention for the 2020 season have been confirmed.
Under a new cap system, points will be awarded to players for Test and State of Origin appearances, representing the Prime Minister’s XIII or playing at the National Championships.
Each club will be allowed to sign 22 players whose value totals a maximum of 160 points, with a player worth:
- 10 points if they represented a tier 1 country against a Tier 1 country (Jillaroos or Kiwi Ferns) in 2019;
- 8 points if they played State of Origin for NSW or Queensland in 2019;
- 6 points if they played in the if they represented a Tier 1 country against a Tier 1 country (Jillaroos or Kiwi Ferns) in 2018;
- 4 points if they represented a Tier 1 country against a Tier 2 country in 2019;
- 4 points if they played State of Origin for NSW or Queensland in 2018;
- 4 points if they represented the PM’s XIII in 2019;
- 3 points if they played at the 2019 National Championships;
- 2 points if they represented the PM’s XIII in 2018.
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NRL Telstra Women's Premiership squads
Re-signed: Tarryn Aiken, Millie Boyle, Annette Brander, Ali Brigginshaw, Jessica Elliston, Lavinia Gould, Amber Hall, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Raecene McGregor, Julia Robinson, Tamika Upton, Meg Ward.
Gains: Tallisha Harden (Roosters), Lauren Brown (Australian rugby), Jayme Fressard, Shannon Mato, Tyler Birch, Romy Teitzel, Nakita Sao, Chante Temara, Zara Canfield, Shenae Ciesiolka.
Losses: Tazmin Gray (Warriors), Steph Hancock (Dragons), Heather Ballinger (retirement).
Unsigned: Chelsea Baker, Taylor Mapusua, Rona Peters, Rosemary Vaimili-Toalepai, Amber Pilley (injured), Amy Turner (pregnancy), Mariah Storch (pregnancy).
Talking point: Chelsea Baker and Rona Peters have both withdrawn from the competition due to family commitments, while the Broncos have lost a further four players to retirement, injury or pregnancy.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Gains: Isabelle Kelly (Roosters), Steph Hancock (Broncos), Sam Bremner, Elsie Albert, Teagan Berry, Jade Etherden, Talei Holmes, Ellie Johnston, Mahalia Murphy (rugby), Georgia Page, Christine Pauli.
Re-signed: Kezie Apps, Shaylee Bent, Jaime Chapman, Keeley Davis, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili, Rikeya Horne, Tiana Penitani, Jessica Sergis, Maddie Studdon, Shakiah Tungai, Maddison Weatherall.
Losses: Botille Vette-Welsh (Roosters), Sarah Togatuki (Roosters).
Unsigned: Ngatokotoru Arakua, Brittany Breayley, Maitua Feterika, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Alexandrea Kiriwi, Stephanie Mooka, Kimiora Nati, Najvada George (injured), Takilele Katoa (pregnancy), Holli Wheeler (injured).
Talking point: The Dragons will be without Holli Wheeler and Najvada George following season-ending knee injuries, while Takilele Katoa is pregnant. Last year's five big signings from the Broncos have not returned for a second season with the club.
Gains: Charlotte Caslick (Australian rugby), Botille Vette-Welsh (Dragons), Sarah Togatuki (Dragons) Grace Hamilton (Australian rugby), Kennedy Cherrington, Filomina Hanisi, Jocelyn Kelleher, Yasmin Meakes, Kaitlyn Phillips, Taleena Simon.
Re-signed: Quincy Dodd, Vanessa Foliaki, Melanie Howard, Bobbi Law, Amelia Mafi, Nita Maynard, Corban McGregor, Brydie Parker, Shanice Parker, Zahara Temara, Simaima Taufa, Hannah Southwell.
Losses: Isabelle Kelly (Dragons), Kirra Dibb (Warriors), Karina Brown (Warriors), Tallisha Harden (Broncos), Simone Smith (Warriors) Shontelle Stowers (Warriors), Ruan Sims (retirement), Rebecca Young (retirement).
Unsigned: Jasmin Allende, Caitlan Johnston (injured), Kiana Takairangi (injured), Aliti Namoce,
Talking point: A host of changes announced by Roosters coach Jamie Feeney with 12 re-signing and 10 fresh faces including rugby sevens star Charlotte Caslick, Wallaroos captain Grace Hamilton and Dragons pair Botille Vette-Welsh and Sarah Togatuki.
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New Zealand Warriors
Gains: Karina Brown (Roosters), Kirra Dibb (Roosters), Tazmin Gray (Broncos), Ellia Green (Australian rugby), Evania Pelite (Australian rugby), Simone Smith (Roosters), Shontelle Stowers (Roosters), Stephanie Ball, Brianna Clark, Samantha Economos, Naomi Kara, Teaghan Hartigan, Taimane Levu, Laken Paitai, Michaela Peck, Shaniah Power, Kayla Sauvao.
Re-signed: Madison Bartlett, Georgia Hale, Kanyon Paul, Hilda Peters, Crystal Tamarua.
Unsigned: Honey Hireme-Smiler (injured), Billy-Jean Ale, Honey Hireme-Smiler, Amber Kani, Onjeurlina Leiataua, Jules Newman, Apii Nicholls, Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell, Annetta Nuuausala, Charntay Poko, Roela Radiniyavuni, Timaima Ravisa, Tyler Reid, Krystal Rota, Tasia Seumanufagai, Aieshaleigh Smalley, Atawhai Tupaea, Kathleen Wharton-Keremete.
Talking point: No team will be more affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than the Warriors this season with just five players returning from last year's squad. The quintet will be joined by a host of fresh faces in 2020 made up of players across NSW and Queensland and led by Jillaroos coach Brad Donald.
Warriors star ruled out of NRLW season
Catch up with the latest news ahead of the third NRLW season.
- September 29: Broncos finalise squad ahead of title defence
- September 28: Elliston among four more Broncos signings
- September 24: Dragons announce Hanock and Kelly among strong squad
- September 23: Broncos sign Harden, re-sign quartet
- September 23: Roosters confirm Caslick signing in 22-player squad
- September 23: Telstra named official partner, triple headers announced
- September 18: Warriors unveil Ellia Green signing as part of 2020 squad
- September 17: Broncos announce seven signings for title defence
- September 5: Fantastic five arrive in Australia for Warriors campaign
- September 1: Hireme ruled out of NRLW season with knee injury
- August 31: NRLW season full steam ahead with contract period to begin
- August 27: Jillaroos coach to lead Warriors ahead of Australian move
- August 5: Warriors set for mass changes, Sydney move
- July 2: Rugby sevens stars on NRLW radar after Olympics delay
- June 24: Feeney unveiled as new Roosters NRLW coach
- June 9: NRL confirms NRLW to go ahead in 2020