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Julia Robinson in Wynnum colours. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

It’s never easy to leave behind a club that you hold close to your heart.

But for Julia Robinson, moving on from her beloved West Brisbane Panthers has been made a lot easier thanks to Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

With Norths Devils and Mackay Cutters coming in as the new sides for 2023 - replacing West Brisbane and the North Queensland Gold Stars in a bid to align BMD Premiership teams with the Hostplus Cup - the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons back has joined Wynnum Manly.

While West Brisbane will always be a significant club for Robinson, viewed by her as the place where she really “began” her football, she is already feeling at home in the red and green.

Julia Robinson in Wynnum colours. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL
Julia Robinson in Wynnum colours. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

“We knew last year that West Panthers weren’t going to be a team so I knew I had to look for another team for this year and the years to come,” Robinson said.

“After hearing stories from last year about how good Wynnum is, how supportive they are with the women’s program and the culture they’ve built in a short period of time, it made me feel like I wanted to be part of it.

“You want to develop as a player and I knew Wynnum would be able to do that as well. Having Amy Turner, Emily Bass and a few girls I’ve played at the Broncos with, all they had was good things to say about the club and how professional it is.

“Going from NRLW back to club, you don’t want to have that big step back. You want to keep progressing and Wynnum definitely does that.”

Robinson playing for West Brisbane in 2022. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
Robinson playing for West Brisbane in 2022. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

Wynnum Manly only entered the BMD Premiership in 2022 and their strong reputation is spreading like wildfire.

As well as Robinson, the Seagulls have secured the signatures of a number of high-profile stars, including Maroons guns Karina Brown, Tallisha Harden and Shaniah Power, as well as New Zealand international, Brianna Clark.

In a squad that already boasts Emily Bass and Shaylee Bent, they are certainly hoping to continue their impact on their competition, starting in Round 1 with a clash against the newly-established Mackay Cutters.

Robinson has been named at fullback for the opening showdown at BMD Kougari Oval, which is a role she wants to own, hopefully not just at the BMD Premiership level, but in the NRLW as well.

“I told (coach Ron Troutman) and (women’s academy manager) Steve Casey that I want to develop my game, I want to still learn and get better as a player,” Robinson said.

“For me, it’s challenging myself. I’m trying to play that fullback role for club so it’s new skills, different parts of the game that I don’t usually get to do, in a different position from NRLW and other teams.

“Fullback is definitely something I hope I could be in the future. There’s still a lot for me to learn and progress in that role but it’s a goal of mine to be more versatile and be able to go into different roles if I have to.

“BMD is the perfect place to do that and have a go.”

Robinson comes into 2023 with Wynnum Manly off the back of a huge 2022 which included two NRLW seasons with the Brisbane Broncos, a State of Origin loss with the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons, and her first World Cup with the Australian Jillaroos.

In a way, she’s looking forward to a somewhat quieter 2023, but also has her sights set on another Queensland jersey, especially as the women prepare to play two Origin games this season.

And she knows the best way to prepare for that series is through Wynnum Manly.

“The competition is very important because it’s our pathway to get selected for Origin,” Robinson said of the BMD Premiership.

“I still take the BMD very seriously. You’re in a team, you want to win, you want to perform, and go on to win the competition.

“It’s a good way for girls to develop and potentially get to that next step, which is NRLW and Origin.

“For me this year, I just want to keep progressing as a player. I just want to get better and better. I want to keep upping my game each year.

“Hopefully we can make the BMD grand final and from that hopefully get selected back into the Queensland team. We have two games this year which will be insane.

“One of my big goals is to win Origin. That game last year was one of the best games I’ve ever been part of it. It was intense so I can’t imagine what this year is going to be like.

“I’m keen for it and hopefully Queensland will get the win this year. That’s definitely my goal.”

Wynnum Manly Seagulls 2023 gains and losses


Indee Brown, Karina Brown, Demi Butler, Brianna Clark, Renee Cowan, Capreece Day, Lilly Green, Tallisha Harden, Toni Hunt, Ula Peilua, Prue Peters, Shaniah Power, Sarai Pule, Julia Robinson, Brianna Shillingsworth


Essay Banu, Aria Hudson-Davies, Lyrech Mara, Kirra-Lee Muggeridge, Takiyah Nagas, Latoniya Norris, Crystal Papalii, Tahlia Rolph, Hannah Sorenson, Kayla Taputoa, Shanay Taylor, Liahona Theodore, Jazmon Tupou-Witchman, Ange Watego, Nikeah Wyles-Togo

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