13 July 2023

The 2023 NRLW season is set to introduce a wave of talented Kiwi rookies eager to make their mark in the competition. Fans can expect thrilling performances and the emergence of future Kiwi Ferns stars as these up-and-comers embark on their NRLW journey.


Mele Hufanga (Broncos)

After a breakout Kiwi Ferns debut at the 2021 RLWC, Mele Hufanga is set to make her NRLW debut with the Brisbane Broncos. Her impressive performances for the Kiwi Ferns, scoring three tries in four games, earned her a spot in the Women’s Team of the Tournament. Hufanga’s power and skill make her a formidable presence on the field and a player to watch in the upcoming season.


Niall Williams-Guthrie (Titans)

A decorated athlete with experience representing NZ in rugby sevens and touch rugby, Niall Williams-Guthrie is ready to make her impact felt in the NRLW. Her remarkable collection of medals, including an Olympic silver medal, two Commonwealth Games medals, and two Rugby World Cup Sevens medals, speaks to her talent and versatility. Williams-Guthrie’s addition as the Titans centre brings a wealth of experience and skill to the team.


Tyla Nathan-Wong (Dragons)

A veteran of both the Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens, Tyla Nathan-Wong is set to make her NRLW debut with the St George Illawarra Dragons. Nathan-Wong is a skilled playmaker known for her success in rugby sevens, including multiple Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals. Teaming up with McGregor in the halves, she will bring her experience and leadership to the Dragons’ lineup.


Alexis Tauaneai (Dragons)

Highly anticipated in her NRLW debut, Alexis Tauaneai is a young prop forward with immense potential. Having earned recognition for her outstanding performances in the Tarsha Gale Cup and Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships, Tauaneai’s inclusion in the Dragons’ squad is well-deserved. Her physicality and skill in the forward pack will undoubtedly make an impact.


Abigail Roache (Knights)

After an impressive Kiwi Ferns debut campaign at the 2021 RLWC, Abigail Roache is set to make her NRLW debut with the Newcastle Knights. Her versatility across multiple positions, including centre, fullback, and five-eighth, adds depth to the Knights’ lineup. Roache’s recognition as the Auckland Rugby League Cathy Friend, Women’s Player of the Year, makes her one to watch.


Mackenzie Wiki (Raiders)

Following in the footsteps of her father, Kiwi legend Ruben Wiki, Mackenzie Wiki is ready to make her mark in the rugby league world. Representing the Cook Islands at the 2021 RLWC, Wiki showcased her skills and scored two tries in her three matches. Her move to the Canberra Raiders NRLW team provides her with a platform to further develop and shine.


Laishon Albert-Jones (Knights)

The Knights have signed rising star Laishon Albert-Jones, a versatile Kiwi Ferns international who made her test debut in June 2022 against Mate Ma’a Tonga and was part of the Rugby League World Cup campaign. Coming from a rugby league family with legendary uncle Stacey Jones, she brings exceptional skills and dedication. Recognised as the Cathy Friend Women’s Player of the Year in 2021, Albert-Jones adds international experience and a winning mindset to the Knights. Fans can anticipate her crucial contributions as the Knights strive for success in the NRLW.


Anessa Biddle (Sharks)

Anessa Biddle, the talented winger, is set to leave her mark on the NRLW as she joins the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks for the upcoming season. With a background as a former Counties Manukau representative and playing for the Otara Scorpions, Biddle has honed her skills in the New Zealand rugby league system. Now, she embarks on a new chapter with the Sharks, eager to showcase her talent and contribute to the team’s success. Fans can look forward to seeing Biddle’s speed, agility, and try-scoring ability on full display in the NRLW.


As the 2023 NRLW season unfolds, all eyes will be on these talented Kiwi rookies poised to make their mark in the competition.