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NRLW Players: Josie Lenaz

Teacher by day, footballer by night.

2023 has been a busy year for Josie Lenaz, beginning her primary school teaching while also signing her first NRLW contract.

“It’s my first year of teaching at Beresford Road Public School, so I’m still trying to get into the rhythm of what it’s like to be a teacher and playing professionally,” said Lenaz earlier in the season.

"It has been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I have really enjoyed it so far, juggling both professions.

“I’ve been lucky with the schedules and my school and the club have been very supportive.”

Lenaz makes her NRLW debut against the Eels in Round 1
Lenaz makes her NRLW debut against the Eels in Round 1

As a 17-year-old, Lenaz was a very good netballer playing for Eastwood Ryde Hawks in the Under 20’s Premier League. 

Her interest in the sport started to drift following an ACL injury, and so she looked for something new.

Transitioning over to rugby league, Lenaz joined the Parramatta Eels Under 18s side before moving to Wests Tigers after her previous Harvey Norman Premiership team, Cabramatta Two Blues, disbanded.

Lenaz scored her first NRLW try against the Cowboys in Round 4
Lenaz scored her first NRLW try against the Cowboys in Round 4

Entering her third season with Wests Tigers, Lenaz believes she’s found the right balance between ‘fun’ and ‘professionalism’.

“It’s probably one of the best moves I’ve ever made. I’m playing professionally now but I’m still having lots of fun,” said Josie.

One thing that separates us from other clubs I think is how good our culture is.

Josie Lenaz

"We train four days a week, after our other jobs, and so it’s it great that we all enjoy each other’s company.

The 23-year-old teacher, who is known to some of her teammates as ‘Miss’, is keen to build on her solid defensive game.

“A focus for me has been on not just making good defensive reads but making sure my tackles are making an impact,” she said.

“It’s all about me stepping up the intensity and being more aggressive when I play, and I have my full trust in the coaching staff and their decisions moving forward.”

Tight bond: Lenaz and teammates embrace
Tight bond: Lenaz and teammates embrace

Lenaz is also happy to be doing the ‘extra homework’ whenever needed.

“It’s such a close playing group and we’re all keen to help each other when we can," Josie said.

“I’ve asked heaps of girls to stick around and do extras after training and it’s been really helpful to have the girls willing to stay back and practice.

“I think we’ve built a strong bond within the group in our first season and we have laid some solid foundations for the future."

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour 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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