Jess Sergis has a new Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership club, a new players award, and a new competitive spirit.
The 24-year-old’s stellar 2021 season – headlined by 16 tries in 12 games for the Helensburgh Tigers – won her the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership club player of the year at NSWRL’s Brad Fittler Medal presentation night.
“This is a nice surprise. I certainly don’t go looking for awards – I just enjoy playing rugby league. So when one comes along, it’s kind of cool,” said Sergis, who was the 2019 Dally M winner and RLPA Women’s Player of the Year.
Sergis is moving to the Wests Tigers Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership team for 2022 and with her new surroundings will come a familiar face in her Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues teammate Botille Vette-Welsh.
This will present a dilemma for incoming coach Ryan Powell. Vette-Welsh is the current fullback for the Wests Tigers, but Sergis played fullback with aplomb at Helensburgh.
“There’s been a lot of chat about that question. Obviously I was fullback at Helensburgh and loved playing there,” Sergis said.
“I enjoyed the higher involvement and more space to run freely.
“We’ve all got to fight for our positions I guess. So I’m going to work hard in the off-season and see what happens.”
Vette-Welsh plays No.1 for the Harvey Norman Sky Blues with Sergis at right centre.
So while the composition of the Wests Tigers backline for 2022 is not finalised, every player in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership is having to keep close tabs on their preparations with such a long season ahead, back-ended by the World Cup.
There will be two NRLW seasons, the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership club season, Country-City game, and Origin.
“I’m only three weeks into my pre-season and I’m already getting little niggles,” Sergis said.
“There’s still a long way to go but I’m being a bit smarter with my prep and talking a lot to my coaching staff.
“It’s definitely a big year for us all but the main thing is to keep our bodies well looked after.
“We’ll undoubtedly be the fittest we’ve ever been and I think the quality of football will improve even more off the back of that. We’ll not only grow the game but grow as players.”