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NRLW Players: Ebony Prior

Not so long ago Ebony Prior was idolising NRLW players on television, and now she’s fulfilling a dream.

One of the young stars in the NRLW, the Paramatta born dummy-half struggles to fathom how surreal her journey thus far has been.

“I was that kid making signs and posters and now fans are doing the same for me. I never thought that would happen to me,” said Prior.

Watching on TV as a kid I thought the players in the NRLW were so cool and now I’m one of them which has made it even more unreal.

Ebony Prior

“I can’t put it into words how crazy it has been.”

At just 153 centimetres in height Prior is one of shortest players in the NRLW, but is living proof that ‘size doesn’t matter’.

Prior: Size doesn't matter

Prior has a touch football and Oz Tag background, having represented Penrith Panthers and Western Sydney Tigers at State and National Championships.

She admits she had to twist her mother’s arm a few years ago to allow her to play rugby league

“When I was 17 I asked Mum to if I could play rugby league at St Mary’s which was a bit of an argument and took some convincing,” she said.

“I was playing rugby sevens at the time and Mum thought rugby league was too rough because in sevens everyone was roughly the same size.”

Winning the battle, Ebony began with St Marys Saints before moving into Penrith Panthers’ 2020 Tarsha Gale side. She then moved the year after that to Wests Tigers where she has since progressed through the club’s pathways.

Prior causing havoc through the middle on debut against the Eels
Prior causing havoc through the middle on debut against the Eels

A member of Wests Tigers premiership-winning Harvey Norman side last year, Ebony’s game features agile footwork, precise passing, and excellent vision.

She credits her time in touch for much of what she brings to the game.

“Oz-Tag gives you more of a footy brain in learning how to use your numbers and touch football teaches you to be fast and think on the spot.

“Both have helped with my passing game too.”

Ebony had a dream start to her NRLW campaign with a victory on debut in Round 1 against Paramatta Eels, and has featured in every game this season.

She says of her debut she felt physically sick such were the nerves of the big occasion.

“Driving on the team bus I still hadn’t processed I was going to make my NRLW,” said Prior.

“I’m not one to get nervous but as soon as I took my spot on the field it all hit me and I had a little gag.”

Prior finds the line for her first NRLW try in Round 5
Prior finds the line for her first NRLW try in Round 5

Ebony scored her very first NRLW try in Round 5 against the Dragons, signalling a big future for the diminutive dummy half.

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