Cowboys sign PNG quartet

The Cowboys have signed four Papua New Guinea Orchids players ahead of their inaugural NRLW season with Essay Banu, Shellie Long, Jessikah Reeves and Sera Koroi all joining the club.

Having all featured recently at the Rugby League World Cup, the quartet will join a number of other representative stars at the Cowboys in 2023 including Kirra Dibb and Emma Manzelmann, with coach Ben Jeffries saying the players will bring a strong cultural diversity and on-field experience to the team.

“All four players were regular starters at the recent World Cup and just as importantly, are great humans, which is what we look for when attracting players to the Cowboys,” Jeffries said.

“A major part of our recruitment drive was to bring Queensland players into our team and we’re grateful they have chosen to come to the Cowboys.”

Elsewhere, the Sharks have announced their fourth signing for the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership with young fullback Jada Taylor signing a two-year deal with the club.

Previously representing Cronulla in the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership, the 19-year-old former Sydney Rooster joins Emma Tonegato, Quincy Dodd and Holli Wheeler for the side’s inaugural NRLW campaign.

“I’m so happy to be here, I’m pumped and can’t wait to take to the field with the (Sharks) girls,” Taylor said.

“I’m here to do the best for the team and I’ll play wherever that is.”

Meanwhile, twins Sophie and Emily Curtain are among nine new players to join the Wests Tigers inaugural roster for the 2023 season.

All members of the 2022 premiership-winning Harvey Norman Women’s squad, Bianca Bennetts, Rebecca Pollard, Imogen Gobran, Hope Tevaga, Josie Lenaz, Ebony Prior and Jessica Kennedy will join the Curtain twins at the Concord club in 2023.

“I think it’s brilliant that the vast majority of this team has been playing with our club for a few years now, getting ready for the NRLW,” coach Brett Kimmorley said. “The squad has a great balance of players with NRLW experience, Tarsha Gale and Harvey Norman Women’s experience, and so many are local juniors.”

The Roosters have delivered a triple blow in the player market with confirmation representative stars Millie Boyle, Keeley Davis and Amber Hall will all join the club.

Boyle’s exit from Newcastle was floated in the past month with the premiership-winning star now on her way to Bondi while Davis joins the Tricolours after five seasons at the Dragons.

The addition of Hall is another big signing for John Strange with the Kiwi Ferns back-rower one of the most intimidating players in the game.

New Zealand Rugby Sevens star Niall Williams will join the Titans NRLW squad in 2023 having signed a two-year deal with the club.

The sister of dual-international Sonny Bill Williams, Niall Williams has starred in both rugby union and touch football across an illustrious career with representation in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games with the Black Ferns.

The Broncos have re-signed Hayley Maddick and Hannah Larsson and added former Titans winger Lauren Dam to their growing squad.

Newcastle’s premiership-winning sisters Hannah Southwell and Jesse Southwell will remain in the Hunter long-term after signing contract extensions with the club on Wednesday.  Ua Ravu and Elise Smith have been announced as the latest additions to the inaugural Raiders squad, with both players set to appear at NRLW level for the first time in 2023. It follows the signings of Chanté Temara, Tommaya Kelly-Sines and Felice Quinlan.