You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
NRLW Players: Tess Staines

Tess Staines made the move from the country to the ‘big smoke’ and is delighted to have made her family proud.

At 20 years of age Staines took a risk and moved to Sydney from her country town of Leeton, 550 kilometres west of Sydney, to chase her rugby league dream.

Now well entrenched at Wests Tigers, this fleet-footed outside back is proud to call the club home.

“Taking out the Harvey Norman premiership last year was massive for me, and the club and I think that’s what has given me so much love for Wests Tigers,” said Staines.

I felt part of the club the second I got here.

Tess Staines

Following several years of junior and senior League Tag, Staines soon attracted attention after helping her Riverina Bulls team win the 2019 open age country championship as a 17-year-old.

That same year, Tess was selected for the inaugural NSW Under-18s State of Origin side, NSW Country, and the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII all while still a teen.

Planning to move to Canberra the following year to play in the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership and with a job lined up, COVID put it all on hold, forcing her to make the ‘decision of her life’.

“I second guessed everything. I didn’t know what I was going to do because the whole goal was to move to Canberra and I’d play footy as well,” Tess said.

“There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether the traineeship would resume or not.

“I called it quits and I guess everything happens for a reason because I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Staines maker her Wests Tigers NRLW debut in Round 6 against the Roosters
Staines maker her Wests Tigers NRLW debut in Round 6 against the Roosters

After putting the feelers out, Tess was picked up by Parramatta Eels in 2021 but the postponement of that season meant she would make her NRLW debut the following year.

Staines with her family in Round 7 on the Gold Coast
Staines with her family in Round 7 on the Gold Coast

Staines says her debut was made even more memorable with family there to share the experience, her parents frequently making the long journey to watch her play.

“It made me see that the move had been worth it and I knew I had made my family proud,” said Staines.

It fills my heart with pride when I see Mum and Dad in the stands.

Tess Staines

“They never miss a game when I’m not injured that is.

“It’s about a six-and-a-half-hour drive for them so it’s a big effort.”

Due to injury, Staines didn’t get as much game time as she would have liked in the club’s inaugural season.  The 21-year-old says she has enjoyed hyping up the girls even when she couldn’t be on the field.

“I’m very vocal with the girls and I’ve always seen myself with that sense of leadership from a young age,” she said.

I’ve never had this sense of being like a team than I do with these girls.

Tess Staines
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.

Major Partner

Corporate Partners

View All Partners