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'We know we're the hunted': Knights ready to kick off title defence

NRLW clubs will officially kick off their 2024 preparations with trial matches in the coming two weeks ahead of the start of the Telstra Women's Premiership competition on July 25. 

Canberra will host back-to-back defending premiers Newcastle in the first pre-season game of the year this Saturday, with a host of big names set to take to the field in Wagga Wagga as coaches fine tune their teams ahead of Round 1.

The Knights are one of two teams set to run out under a new coach in 2024, with 2023 Cowboys mentor Ben Jeffries linking up with the Hunter club while Kiwi Ferns coach Ricky Henry takes charge in North Queensland.

“It is exciting for the season to be kicking off soon," Jeffries told

“I have been pretty busy with the pathways stuff which is awesome to be around because I get to see what the future looks like for the club. But we are five weeks deep into pre-season and the girls are probably excited just as much as I am.

"I just want them to go out and play and see what we’re good at and what we need to improve upon before we play Roosters in Round 1.

The 2024 Knights NRLW squad is presented to the Newcastle crowd during an NRL game.
The 2024 Knights NRLW squad is presented to the Newcastle crowd during an NRL game. ©NRL Photos

“The girls have been really good, overall they have come back fit, healthy, motivated, hungry to go again," he said.

“That was probably one of the barriers coming here new – what was their attitude going to be towards pre-season after going back-to-back – and they haven’t disappointed the staff or themselves. We know we’re the hunted, but we actually see it as a privilege to be hunted so we know every week we are going to have to be at our best to come away with a victory."

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All players participating in official NRLW trial matches must be 18 years of age (unless approval is given otherwise) and are required to be signed to an active NRLW Top 24 or Development List contract for the coming year.

Following this week's game in regional New South Wales, Parramatta will host St George Illawarra in Sydney while the Broncos host Wests Tigers in Brisbane. 

The Titans travel north to face the Cowboys in Cairns as the Sharks and Roosters face off in Cronulla to round out the pre-season fixtures.

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The Eels/Dragons clash at Eric Tweedale Stadium on July 13 and Sharks/Roosters game at PointsBet Stadium on July 14 will both be played after NSW women's reserve grade fixtures, while the Broncos/Wests Tigers game will be played prior to the Round 19 NRL game between the Broncos and Dragons.

Catch the action from all five games on the NRL website while those wanting to attend the games with details via the respective home club websites.

2024 NRLW trials schedule

Date Time Fixture Venue
Saturday, July 6 2.00pm Raiders v Knights McDonalds Park, Wagga Wagga
Saturday, July 13 1.00pm Eels v Dragons Eric Tweedale Stadium, Merrylands
Saturday, July 13 5.15pm Broncos v Wests Tigers Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sunday, July 14 11.00am Cowboys v Titans Southern Suburbs RL Grounds, Cairns
Sunday, July 14 1.30pm Sharks v Roosters PointsBet Stadium, Cronulla
Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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