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NRLW Signings Tracker: Pathways prospect promoted to top squad

Welcome to the Gold Coast Titans' Signings Tracker for the upcoming 2023 season.

Stay up-to-date with the latest NRLW signings news here.

Pathways prospect promoted to top squad

Gold Coast young gun Sienna Laing has been called into the Titans’ top 24 NRLW squad after a strong 2023 QRL season, replacing Brooke Saddler who has been ruled out with a season-ending leg injury.

A member of the club’s Under 19 female academy at the start of 2023, the versatile utility who can play almost anywhere in the backline began her season with Burleigh in the Harvey Norman Under 19s before making her debut and winning the BMD Premiership on the wing with the Bears.

Starring with four tries across four appearances in the statewide competition, the Gold Coast pathways prospect represented Queensland in last Thursday’s interstate Under 19 clash with her quick progression in 2023 catching the keen eye of Titans NRLW coach Karyn Murphy.

“Sienna is a very talented young player and has really excelled this season since her time with us in our Under 19 female academy at the start of the year,” she said.

“Her desire to continually learn, grow and develop is a huge attribute of her game and she will be a welcomed addition to our squad as our fourth pathways graduate to the NRLW top squad this season.

“Brooke’s season-ending injury was terrible, especially after all the hard-work and extra training she put in the pre-season to recover from a similar injury last year, but as we continue to support her and her recovery, I’m excited to be able to give Sienna her opportunity in our squad.”

Whilst officially out of the top 24, Saddler will remain in the Titans squad to continue her rehab from a fractured tibia and fibula sustained in the Titans’ recent trial match against the Cowboys earlier this month.

Squad complete with development signings

The Titans have finalised their entire NRLW roster ahead of the pre-season with the addition of four development players to complete their squad for 2023.

Young and upcoming talents Estanoa Faitala, Matekino Gray, Lily-Rose Kolc and Malaela Sua will begin training with the top 24 contracted players from Monday, May 29 as the seven-week preparation block begins ahead of Round 1 on July 22.

All four players are fresh from strong showings in the BMD Premiership with Faitala and Sua both contributing with impactful efforts for the Brisbane Tigers' forward pack; meanwhile, Gray and Kolc played big roles in Burleigh’s title-winning squad who claimed glory against Wynnum Manly recently.

The Gold Coast’s NRLW squad will assemble at Titans HQ next week to begin pre-season; except for the club’s seven Origin stars who will enter their respective camps over the weekend ahead of Game I of the Women’s series on Thursday, June 1.

Top 24 finalised with return of Kiwi International star

Georgia Hale is the final piece of the Titans puzzle with the New Zealand International returning to the NRLW after starting her 2023 season with the Leeds Rhinos in the English Super League.

The 27-year-old hard-working forward was a powerhouse in defence last season for the Titans, averaging an incredible 44 tackles at a near-perfect 97 percent efficiency and brought that same tenacity to the Kiwi Ferns in their Rugby League World Cup campaign, topping the tournament tally with 35 tackles per game at 98 percent efficiency.

Honoured with recognition from Karyn Murphy and the Titans coaching staff at last year’s end of season awards, the five-year NRLW star is looking forward to returning home to the Gold Coast after a strong start to 2023 in England.

“I have really enjoyed my time and experiences with Leeds so far, but I’m so looking forward to coming home,” Hale said.

“When you get to be part of something for the first time, as we did when the Titans entered the competition two seasons ago, you have that urge to keep building on what’s been created.

“I’m so fortunate to be part of that foundation, playing for the region I now call home with a great bunch of girls and coaches that challenge you and care about you.”

Hale is the final signing for the Titans’ 2023 top 24 roster with the Gold Coast now preparing to begin pre-season training on May 29, ahead of their Round 1 clash against North Queensland on Saturday, July 22 at Cbus Super Stadium.

2023 roster (in alphabetical order)

Emily Bass, Shaylee Bent, Brittany Breayley-Nati, Karina Brown, Lauren Brown, Sophie Buller, Zara Canfield, Jaime Chapman, Laikha Clarke, Jessika Elliston, Taliah Fuimaono, Georgia Hale, Steph Hancock, Rilee Jorgensen, Chantay Kiria-Ratu, Sienna Lofipo, Shannon Mato, Destiny Mino-Sinapati, Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell, Evania Pelite, Dannii Perese, Kaitlyn Phillips, Brooke Saddler, Niall Williams

Premiership-winning hooker joins coaching ranks

Karyn Murphy has bolstered her coaching team with the inclusion of Titans dummy-half Aaron Booth, who will join the NRLW squad as an assistant alongside Matt Geyer for the upcoming season.

Whilst the 27-year-old is currently recovering from a multi-ligament knee injury that has kept him on the sidelines in 2023, he has begun his off-field rugby league mentoring journey, initially on staff with the Burleigh Bears Mal Meninga Cup squad ahead of his appointment with the Gold Coast female program.

Having played and won a premiership under experienced NRL figure Craig Bellamy in extension to his time under Titans head coach Justin Holbrook, Booth is excited to combine his knowledge as a player with his introduction to coaching to help Murphy guide the Gold Coast to their first premiership.

“The squad is super impressive, and Karyn and the rest of the team have done an amazing job in recruitment, so I’m really looking forward to getting involved,” he said.

“I did get a little bit of a taste in coaching for the year with the Mal Meninga Cup squad over at Burleigh. It was a great experience, and we had a great crew over there staff-wise that really helped me through it and I really enjoyed it.

“Hopefully with where I've been in the past and the experience I’ve had over the years, I've been able to gather a little bit of knowledge to pass on to the girls.

“I was lucky enough to spend a few days with Vani (Pelite) down in Grafton and a few country spots for the Roads to Regions and just chatting with her, the excitement she has for the game has got me excited to meet the rest of the squad.

“It’s shaping up to be a really good year because of the group of players put together and that’s super exciting.”

The NRLW squad will begin pre-season at the end of this month before hosting the Cowboys in Round 1 of the NRLW Telstra Premiership on Saturday, July 22 at Cbus Super Stadium.

Experienced duo excited for Titans return

Titans fan favourites Brittany Breayley-Nati and Steph Hancock have re-committed to the club for the 2023 NRLW campaign with the experienced duo excited to be calling the Coast home for the upcoming season.

Both rugby league stalwarts continue to be leaders in their own right, having represented Queensland and Australia across their illustrious careers and their experience and knowledge will again prove to be a valuable asset for the entire playing roster.

Since joining the Titans at the start of the 2021 season, Breayley-Nati has felt privileged to represent the region she now calls home.

“I’m truly humbled to be given this opportunity to represent the Titans again. I don’t take this lightly as every jersey isn’t a given… it’s earned,” she said.

“The Gold Coast is where I call home now and this club is a part of my home and I feel I owe this club for the opportunities it has provided me.

“I can’t wait to go to battle for this club in the new season ahead.”

For Hancock, who feels her 2022 season was one of her best across a two-decade career - topping the Titans try-scoring tally with four tries - she can’t wait to return to the club she loves.

“I wish I was 18 all over again so I could play for the Titans for the next decade,” Hancock joked.

“I admire all the people involved at the club, especially the playing group, and our coach is one of a kind.

“I played my best footy in a long-time last year and it all had to do with the club and the support I received on and off the field.

“It will be an absolute honour to represent the Titans again.”

The pair will return to Parkwood after having helped steer Souths Logan to an undefeated QRLW minor premiership, continuing their quest to win the title outright with the finals series commencing this weekend.

Future is bright for Titans trio

Three of the Gold Coast’s brightest young stars have graduated to the NRLW’s top 24 after impressing during their time with the Future Titans Academy.

Sienna Lofipo, Destiny Mino-Sinapati and Rilee Jorgensen will all form part of the club’s roster for the upcoming season with the trio becoming the latest group of players to have excelled after spending time in the junior systems, joining other teammates Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell, Brooke Saddler, Sophie Buller and Chantay Kiria-Ratu as Future Titans alumni.

Australian Schoolgirls halfback Lofipo and fast finishing outside back Mino-Sinapati combined to score an incredible four tries in January’s Academy trial match against the Knights; meanwhile, skillful ball-playing forward Jorgensen has been one of Burleigh’s standouts in the BMD Premiership to help the Bears to second on the ladder.

Titans coach Karyn Murphy is incredibly proud to reward the trio with a contract after their time in the Academy.

“These three are a great example of the female pathways we are continuing to build here at the Titans,” Murphy said.

“Finishing school last year, the trio joined our Academy and were standouts with not only their performance on-field, but their attitude and effort off the field in applying themselves to become better players.

“After a really strong performance against Newcastle in our Academy trial, all three have gone back to their respective QRLW clubs and excelled in the BMD Premiership, expanding on what they learned during their time with us to take their game to the next level.

“It’s a really proud moment to be able to reward Sienna, Destiny and Rilee with a contract and I hope they are three of many more to come through our Titans junior pathways and graduate to the NRLW in the future.”

International young gun joins top 24

The Gold Coast are pleased to have signed Chantay Kiria-Ratu for the upcoming season, with the young gun aspiring to make her NRLW debut in 2023.

A proud product of the Future Titans program, the 18-year-old graduated from rugby league nursery Keebra Park at the end of last year after having also spent the last two seasons learning from the main squad as a development player and will now join the top 24 roster after also starring at a representative level in touch football.

The talented playmaker also made her International debut with the Cook Islands at the Rugby League World Cup in the United Kingdom in late 2022, after previously representing Queensland in the Under 19 Origin clash in June.

Titans coach Karyn Murphy is thrilled to have the Titans junior progress to the club’s top roster.

“Chantay is a really exciting young talent who I’m really excited to see continue to grow after such a strong start to her career at only 18 years old,” she said.

“A core strength of her game is her athleticism, silky ball-playing ability and kicking game, which is a big reason why she’ll be a huge asset for our upcoming campaign.

“She is also another local junior that has excelled in our Future Titans pathway, coming through at both club and school level.

“Knowing how committed Chantay is to continue bettering herself on and off the field every day, I’m really looking forward to her joining our top 24 roster this season and working hard to make her NRLW debut.”

Williams fits the bill for sunny Gold Coast

The Titans are excited to announce New Zealand Rugby Sevens star Niall Williams will join the Titans NRLW squad, calling the Gold Coast home for the next two seasons.

The 34-year-old strike weapon is set to switch codes at the completion of the World Rugby Sevens Series in France next month, before making the move to Australia to fulfil her rugby league dream.

A key member of the Black Ferns since 2015, the sister of dual-code International Sonny-Bill Williams has been a household name in New Zealand for almost two decades, succeeding in both rugby union and touch football.

Titans coach Karyn Murphy is extremely excited to have the well-renowned star joining her squad.

“Niall might have a famous surname, but she is a very talented athlete in her own right with nearly 20 years of representative experience,” she said.

“This has included being a past Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist with the Black Ferns and a long-time successful New Zealand touch football representative captain.

“Niall will bring an incredible amount of experience and professionalism to our squad, and her extreme athletic ability, speed and agility is why she is a very versatile player that will make a valuable contribution to our team.

“In extension to her playing ability, her values, passion and energy for the community aligns hand-in-hand with our club’s purpose and I’m so excited for Niall to reach new heights on and off the field with us here at the Titans.”

Alongside her NRLW commitments with the Coast, Williams will also work with Titans partner school Keebra Park.

Development duo progress to top squad

The Titans are excited to announce young talents Brooke Saddler and Sophie Buller will join the club’s top 24 NRLW roster, graduating from the Coast’s development squad for the upcoming season.

Both taking plenty away from their time in and around Titans HQ last year, the duo has worked extremely hard grow their fledgling careers and progress to the players they have now become.

Saddler is a versatile back with the capability to play at both fullback and on the wing, with her speed and ability to be a lethal ball-runner being a key attribute for the 22-year-old.

Overcoming a serious ankle injury that has limited her footy in the past nine months, the Northern Rivers junior is back and ready to shine after her sheer determination to return.

For Buller, the hard-working lock came close to making her NRLW debut in 2022 after getting a late call-up to the main squad after being named Burleigh’s BMD Premiership player of the year, with a nonsense approach in the middle third her forte.

Moving from Newcastle to chase her rugby league dream, the 22-year-old has once again been strong in the QRLW competition, averaging 121 running metres and three tackle breaks a game.  

Coach Karyn Murphy is excited to have the pair in her squad for the new season.

“I’m really happy to have both Brooke and Sophie joining us in our top squad this season,” she said.

“Both players have an incredible drive to succeed with such a determined and hard-working attitude to continually improve their games po hard-working to improve their games.

“They are both talented young players, and their effort and passion for our club and community cannot be understated; especially with the pair now working in local schools here on the Coast and coming through our pathways system as development players.

“I know how much they’ve grown as players in their short time with us and I’m so glad to have them with us again to add plenty of depth to our roster.”

Titan #1 returns with important goal

The Titans are pleased to announce foundation signing Karina Brown will be back for 2023 with one very important goal in mind… to bring premiership success to the Gold Coast.

Suiting up for her sixth NRLW season, the 34-year-old‘s re-signing was unveiled at Sunday’s NRL home game against the Dragons with the former Maroons and Jillaroos flyer delivering the match ball for the Easter clash, full of enthusiasm to return and help secure the club’s inaugural title.

“I am really excited to be back,” Brown said.

“We've had a few seasons under our belt now and taken a lot of learnings that will hold us in good stead for 2023. The roster is also shaping up very nicely, so I can’t wait to get into pre-season and start working on our combinations.

“It’s such an honour to be part of this club, I love the passion and the energy that fills the air, led by our CEO Steve Mitchell and our club owners – the Frizelle and Kelly families.

“It’s our dream to bring the first ever premiership home to the Gold Coast. It’s an opportunity too great to pass up, and I am thrilled to return for my third season with the Titans.”

Brown is the 14th player to be announced in the 2023 squad as coach Karyn Murphy continues to build a strong roster for her second season at the helm.

Representative rising stars recommit to Titans

The Titans are pleased to announce the return of young local talents Zara Canfield, Laikha Clarke and Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell for the upcoming season.

The trio were members of the club’s foundation NRLW squad at the start of 2022 and flourished in their first two seasons on the Gold Coast, leading to representative selection at the back-end of last year.

Ormond-Maunsell will re-join the Titans fresh from her first World Cup campaign with New Zealand, debuting in a commanding 34-4 victory over the Cook Islands after making six appearances for the Gold Coast across her first two seasons as a graduate of the Future Titans program.

Canfield and Clarke also represented their nation with the duo selected for the Prime Minister’s XIII clash against Papua New Guinea.

Canfield – a dynamic back-rower - scored her maiden International try in the outing, making the most run metres in the clash with 127 across her 49 minutes on field, whilst Clarke was tough to stop in her stint, busting through four tackles as a robust and elusive interchange forward.

The three also bring plenty of passion off the field as proud residents of the Gold Coast and Titans coach Karyn Murphy is excited to have them back in her squad.

“Whilst recruiting players to strengthen our squad is important, so is retaining them and I’m really glad to have foundation members Hailee-Jay, Zara and Laikha part of our squad for this upcoming season,” she said.

“They bring so much on and off the field, especially with their enthusiasm and energy, which makes them hugely important to have in our top 24. They’ve also grown so much; not just as players but as people, and that was rewarded with representative honours at the end of last season.

“I was immensely proud to see the trio make their International debuts and I can’t wait for them to re-join us with the added confidence and learnings they’ve gained from their experiences.”

Titans sign Jillaroos playmaker

The Titans are excited to confirm Australian representative Taliah Fuimaono will be joining the Gold Coast for the next three seasons.

The former Dragons five-eighth rose to fame in her debut NRLW campaign, establishing herself as one of the form playmakers in the competition by helping steer the Red V to the big dance.

The 23-year-old’s second season was equally as successful, earning a green and gold World Cup jersey at its completion and playing an integral role in Australia’s undefeated streak at the tournament in the United Kingdom.

Previously representing New South Wales in touch football and rugby sevens, as well as playing for Australia in OzTag before making the switch to rugby league, Titans coach Karyn Murphy said the All Stars and International representative is an important long-term acquisition for her roster.

“Taliah is a quality playmaker and we are thrilled to have her joining us here at the Titans for the next three years,” she said.

“We were a little short on depth in the halves last season due to injury and she will be the perfect player to help us fill that void as a genuine No. 6.

“Her game went to a whole new level during her time with the Jillaroos at the World Cup and adding to her achievements on the field, she is a very popular player off it.

“Her journey to the NRLW epitomises her positive and upbeat character, showing extreme determination and resilience to make it to the top and we’ll definitely value her skill and experience as one of our key playmakers this season.”

Fuimaono is the sixth new player to join the Titans roster for the 2023 season; alongside Shaylee Bent, Jaime Chapman, Emily Bass, Dannii Perese and Kaitlyn Phillips.

They'll be joined by returning Titans stars Evania Pelite, Shannon Mato, Lauren Brown and Jessika Elliston.

Titans secure exciting Broncos trio

The Titans NRLW squad has been further bolstered by the inclusion of another three young stars with impressive representative credentials, calling the Gold Coast home for the upcoming season and beyond.

Former Broncos trio Emily Bass, Dannii Perese and Kaitlyn Phillips will also form part of Karyn Murphy’s 2023 playing group, joining Shaylee Bent and Jaime Chapman as some of the club’s new recruits who will play a big part in the new campaign.

Electrifying outside back Bass is a former top-class hurdler and Queensland Reds star before making the move to the 13-player game, shooting to the top with the 24-year-old earning a Maroons debut and Prime Minister’s XIII call-up in 2022 after being named the Brisbane rookie of the year in her maiden season.

Perese is one of the brightest young props in the game, shooting to the top with an International debut in the Prime Minister’s XIII clash against Papua New Guinea, scoring a try and making her mark with an impressive stint in her 31 minutes on-field. The teen sensation has returned home and is looking forward to bringing success to the Coast.

Phillips is another player who will proudly represent the region she now calls home after three seasons in the NRLW, most recently up the M1 at the Broncos. A proud Indigenous All Star, the 25-year-old has also represented the Prime Minister’s XIII against Fiji in 2019 and is a hard-running edge forward with a high work rate, particularly in defence.

Murphy is pleased to have all three South East Queenslanders join her squad. 

“Emily, Dannii and Kaitlyn are an extremely talented young trio who I’m thrilled to have joining us here at the Titans,” she said.

“All three are eager to achieve success here on the Gold Coast given their connection to the region and they’ll bring plenty of energy to our squad with their recent representative experience just the start of what promises to be a bright future after a really impressive beginning to their rugby league careers.

“Bassy will be a huge threat on our edge and is expected to trouble the opposition with her immense speed; meanwhile Dannii and Kaitlyn’s attrition and work rate will really boost our engine room up front, with the duo expected to really help us go forward.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming them alongside Shaylee and Jaime as some of our new recruits who we’ve brought in for the new season.”

International star power joins Titans

Another two International strike weapons have joined the Titans for the upcoming NRLW season with Jaime Chapman and Shaylee Bent calling the Coast home in 2023.

Having both proudly represented the Indigenous All Stars last season, Chapman returns to her home region from the Broncos; meanwhile, Bent comes to the club from the Dragons.

Fresh from playing a big part in Australia’s undefeated World Cup triumph, the Jillaroos duo will play important roles in Karyn Murphy’s squad, with the pair eager to be part of building long-term success on the Gold Coast.

“I’m really excited to have both Jaime and Shaylee as two of our newest recruits here at the Titans,” Murphy said.

“They are both very athletic players that offer so much on and off the field and their growth particularly over the past 12 months has been enormous.

“Speaking with Chappo, she’s so excited to be back at home representing the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers region. With all that she’s achieved in the game at such a young age, she’s a great role model for young people – especially with her Indigenous heritage - and I know she wants to continually make a difference in her local community.

“She’s also one of the most lethal backs in the competition, leading the NRLW competition for line breaks last season as well as being in the top five for tackle busts.

“With Shaylee, she is one of the leading edge forwards in the women’s game right now and I was particularly impressed with how she took her International opportunity with both hands.

“From getting a late call-up to the Australian World Cup squad, she worked extremely hard to go from being on the cusp of selection to fighting her way into that top 17 for the final against the Kiwis. This determination epitomises the positive attitude she possesses and this alongside her other key attributes is why she is a perfect fit for our squad.”

Bent will be a Titan for at least the next two years, whilst Chapman will represent her local region until the end of the 2025 season.

Earlier news...

Four stars return for '23 NRLW season

The Titans are excited to welcome back four returning stars as the club’s 2023 NRLW roster begins to take shape.

Reigning player of the year Shannon Mato will join Evania Pelite, Lauren Brown and Jessika Elliston for the new season, with the quartet all knocking back several rival clubs to remain committed to building success on the Gold Coast.

Titans coach Karyn Murphy is proud to have retained all four players as core members of her NRLW squad.

“I’m really happy to have these four quality players remain with us given the huge impact they’ve had wearing Titans colours last year,” she said.

“There’s no denying Shannon is one of the leading forwards in the game and sets the platform for us with her ability to gain valuable metres in the middle of the field. She also brings plenty of aggression and intensity in defence which will be hugely important for us this season.

“Vani and Lauren were among the Jillaroos’ best in their World Cup campaign.

"Vani, using her lethal strike power on the edge, allowed her to score an incredible seven tries across the four matches she played; including an amazing hat-trick to kick-start her International career. This topped off a sensational first year on the Gold Coast as one of the most damaging fullbacks in the NRLW.

Shannon Mato shares what it means to be named the 2022 NRLW Player of the Year

“Lauren was also feared by the rest of the competition during her time in the UK for her ability to play in both the halves and at hooker during the campaign; especially in the No. 9 jersey with her inclusion in the World Cup team of the tournament and will return with plenty of added confidence for her second season on the Coast. Her deft kicking game and goal-kicking ability will also be a huge asset for us this year.

“Finally, Jess has really grown into becoming one of the game’s leading new-age forwards with her athletic ability and energy on and off the field. In her inaugural season here at the Titans, she made an outstanding transition from the back-row to the middle and hasn’t looked back since, winning player of the year honours and getting the chance to represent Queensland as well as her nation in the PM’s XIII game at the end of last year.

“It's important to have these four core players part of our squad and I’m really looking forward to them all continuing their journey with us here on the Coast.” 

NRLW contract window opens

Titans NRLW coach Karyn Murphy is thrilled to see the opening of the NRLW contracting window, getting to work on building her roster for the upcoming season.

With the NRL and the RLPA having agreed to key detail around the NRLW contracts, players have been permitted to sign with clubs for the 2023 season and beyond from 8am (AEST) Wednesday, March 29.

"We are really pleased to see the contracting window open and we can begin building a strong roster for the 2023 season," Murphy said.

"As NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said yesterday, the new NRLW model is definitely a watershed moment for rugby league, especially with the new salary cap, minimum wage and player benefits.

"What I'm most excited about is the introduction of multi-year contracts for players, which not only helps them with securing their playing future, but allows us as a club to grow and maintain a roster that will achieve success here on the Coast.

"I am hoping the Titans squad that we are putting together will go along way to playing finals footy in 2023 and achieving our ultimate goal of bringing the NRLW premiership trophy to the Coast for the first time."

The Titans are expected to announce their first NRLW signing in the next 24 hours.

The expanded NRLW season is closing in! Show your support for the Titans with a NRLW membership - on sale now ready for '23!

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.