Wests Tigers is delighted to confirm the team’s four development players who have been added to the squad ahead of the club’s inaugural season in the NRLW.
The quartet includes three Wests Tigers pathways players and former Sydney Roosters half, Brooke Talataina, who is one of 14 players in the squad to have signed multi-year deals.
Joining Talataina in the 28-player squad is Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale Cup captain, Jae Patu as well as South-West locals Iemaima Etuale and Tiana-Lee Thorne.
Talataina played for the Roosters Tarsha Gale Cup side this year after progressing through the Panthers pathways’ teams.
The New Zealand-born 18-year-old has a background in Rugby 7s, collecting a string of honours on her path to Wests Tigers, including ‘best back’ for the Roosters Under 19s in 2023.
Patu is making rapid progress after just two years in rugby league. The 18-year-old lock was voted Wests Tigers ‘best and fairest’ in the Tarsha Gale Cup this season before representing NSW City Under 19s against Country Under 19s earlier this month.
Etuale is 17-year-old from Campbelltown who joined Wests Tigers Lisa Fiaola team in 2022.
The New Zealand-born back rower began playing rugby league at Eagle Vale St Andrews, making her NSW Women’s Premiership debut with Wests Tigers earlier this year.
Seventeen-year-old fullback, Thorne, is from Liverpool and joined Wests Tigers from junior club, Mounties in 2022. She was named ‘best back’ in Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale Cup team this season.
Wests Tigers NRLW head coach Brett Kimmorley says it’s an exciting period for the group.
“There’s plenty of energy around the team, that’s for sure,” said Kimmorley, after day two of the team’s pre-season training.
“There’s a good mix of players from various backgrounds, age, and experience.
“Most of them know each other well having come through our pathways’ teams together, so that certainly helps.
It’s a really exciting time for the club and I can feel a nice buzz around the group.Brett Kimmorley
Wests Tigers 2023 NRLW Squad:
Kezie Apps, Bianca Bennetts, Emily Curtain, Sophie Curtain, Imogen Gobran, Najvada George, Rikeya Horne, Jessica Kennedy, Josie Lenaz, Losana Lutu, Salma Nour, Taylor Osborne, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale, Christian Pio, Rebecca Pollard, Ebony Prior, Eliza Siilata, Tess Staines, Hope Tevaga, Sarah Togatuki, Leianne Tufuga, Folau Vaki, Botille Vette-Welsh, Jakiya Whitfeld - Development players: Iemaima Etuale, Jae Patu, Brooke Talataina and Tiana-Lee Thorne,
Wests Tigers opening game in the 2023 NRLW season is against Parramatta Eels at CommBank Stadium on Sunday 23rd July.