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2024 Crystal Ball: Who will be the NRLW's breakout star?

The continued growth of the women's game means players are entering the NRLW better equipped than ever before, with some of the competition's best players right now being in the infancy of their careers. 

Last year it was players like Jakiya Whitfeld, Cassey Tohi-Hiku and Abigail Roache who enjoyed breakout campaigns, and in 2024 there's set to be another group who announce themselves on the NRLW stage.'s writers give their thoughts on who the next star of the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership will be. 

Who will be the NRLW's breakout star?

Brad Walter: Some may think Chantay Kiria-Ratu has already achieved too much to be described as break-out star, but the Titans playmaker only turned 19 in October and will be a better player next year than she was this season. She wasn’t expected to play such a significant role in Gold Coast’s NRLW campaign until Taliah Fuimaono went down in their opening game, and she helped the Titans to the first grand final appearance in the club’s history. However, the 24-18 grand final loss to the Knights wasn’t the end of her season and she showed maturity beyond her years to steer Cook Islands around the park in their 28-20 Test loss to PNG Orchids before leading the Moana to a gold medal in the Pacific Games 9s tournament. 

Kiria-Ratu's star continues to rise

Colleen Edwards: While Cowboys prop Sareka Mooka made a solid fist of her debut season last year, which began with an Indigenous All Stars appearance, her post-season campaign with the PNG Orchids looks to have lifted her confidence as well. If her (yet to be confirmed) new coach at the Cowboys can build on that and help her fully unlock her on-field aggression, she will be able to provide plenty of much-needed go-forward for the team and can become a fan favourite along the way.

Corey Rosser: Alexis Tauaneai will finish the year regarded among the top middle forwards in the NRLW and earn the first of what will be many Kiwi Ferns caps as well. At just 18 years of age in her debut season in 2023 the powerhouse Dragon was excellent, playing seven games before injury hit. Her defence was up there with the best around, tackling at a 96 percent efficiency rate, while on the ball an average per-game yardage haul of 148 metres saw her do plenty of damage to opponents. She was a star of the future in 2023, but next year I am anticipating she will become a star of the present.  

Dan Talintyre: Injury limited Losana Lutu to a handful of games at Wests Tigers last year, but her limited involvements were more than enough to show that the future is bright for the talented five-eighth. Brett Kimmorley’s side couldn’t land on their best halves pairing all season, and having Lutu back on deck will be pivotal in helping make that happen in 2024 as they look to earn a first NRLW finals appearance. Blessed with silky passing skills, vision and a deceptively strong running game, Lutu has all the attributes to elevate her game at the elite level and deliver the same high level performances she did in her title-winning Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership campaign in 2022. 

Losana Lutu has represented NSW at U-19 level in each of the past two seasons.
Losana Lutu has represented NSW at U-19 level in each of the past two seasons. ©NRL Photos

Kelsey Hogan: Dragons young gun Kasey Reh will be one to watch after a big year in 2023 representing the Australian Under 18 Schoolgirls team and taking out the player of the tournament at Australian Secondary Schools Championships. Having trained with the NRLW squad in the 2023 pre-season, the promising halfback will be looking to take her game to new heights, learning from the likes of Kiwi Ferns star Raecene McGregor.

Martin Lenehan: Titans youngster Destiny Mino-Sinapati made her NRLW debut and also represented Queensland under 19s and Samoa in 2023, and now that she has had a taste of the big time she’s set to put her name up in lights in 2024. Blessed with abundant speed and a fierce competitive spirit, Mino-Sinapati had 29 tackle breaks and five line breaks for the Titans to give an early glimpse of the talent that can carry her all the way to the top. Playing on the end of a classy Titans backline she’ll be in the mix for leading tryscorer honours as Karyn Murphy’s side look to go one better in 2024 and capture an elusive premiership.

Mino-Sinapati turns on the jets

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.