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NRLW season 2022


Round 1
Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos
McDonald Jones Stadium
Sunday 21st August, 6:10pm

Round 2
Gold Coast Titans vs Newcastle Knights
Cbus Super Stadium
Sunday 28th August, 6:10pm

Round 3
Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels
McDonald Jones Stadium
Sunday 4th September, 12pm

Round 4
Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights
Saturday 12th September, TBA

Round 5
St. George Illawarra Dragons vs Newcastle Knights
Central Coast Stadium
Sunday 18th September, 3:45pm

Full squad (alphabetically)
Tamsin Barber
(wing, 29)
Former rugby 7’s player from England but been playing club union in Australia for a few years. In an interview with the Knights website she says Andre Ponga was the one who discovered her at a game.

Millie Boyle (prop, 24)
One of our 2 marquee signings. Reigning co-winner of the Dally M medal and a mainstay for NSW & Jillaroos. Played for the Broncos since the beginning of the NRLW and won 2 premierships. Daughter of former Raider David Boyle and sister of current Manly prop Morgan Boyle.

Yasmin Clydsdale (second-row/centre, 28)
One of 5 players signed from the Roosters premiership winning squad, scored a try in the grand final. NSW rep & former Australian 7’s player. Previously known as Yasmin Meakes but got married to former Knight Adam Clydsdale over the off-season.

Tiana Davison (second-row, 21)
Kiwi rugby union player making the move to league.

Kirra Dibb (five-eighth, 25)
Played for NSW in 2019 before a couple of years out of the team. Had a season with the Roosters and then one with the Warriors but didn’t stick in either place. Was picked up by the Knights late before last season and IMO was our best for the season. Fought her way back into the NSW side earlier this year and scored a great solo try in the win. Jillaroos rep too. Talented ballplayer with a good kicking game and the size to play back-row if needed.

Olivia Higgins (hooker, 29)
Another local returning from the Roosters, scored the match-sealing try in the grand final. Will be competing with Emma Manzelmann for the starting job but both in the 17 either way I think.

Caitlan Johnston (prop, 21)
Was the Knights first NRLW signing and named club captain but broke her arm in the first half of round 1 and didn’t play another game. Made her debut for NSW earlier this year off the bench and was arguably best on field. Indigenous All-Star rep too. Runs hard, hits hard, and surprisingly skilful for a prop. Should be a Knight for the next decade. Windale junior.

Simone Karpani (lock/prop, 25)
Another from the Roosters, came off the bench in the grand final. Grew up playing rugby league in Adelaide, played for a couple different of women’s premiership teams in Sydney before debuting for the Roosters last season.

Bobbi Law (centre, 25)
Local girl who had a couple of seasons with the Roosters before joining the Knights for our inaugural season. Indigenous All-Stars rep.

Emma Manzelmann (hooker, 20)
Re-signed with the Knights after being one of the shining lights of the first season. Recently won player of the match for NQ in the QLD women’s premiership grand final. A nightmare for defences off quick play the balls and lazy markers.

Caitlin Moran (halfback, 25)
NSW & Jillaroos halfback in 2016/2017 and had the world at her feet. Was one of the Broncos marquee signings for the inaugural NRLW season but did her ACL before the season and never got on the field. Struggled with mental health issues in the wake of that and quit the game completely for a few years. Was talked back into making a return in the QLD women’s premiership last year, now gets her chance at redemption for her hometown team.

Nicole Nathan (winger, 22)
Local girl making the move to league from the NSW Waratahs.

Emmanita Paki (centre, 19)
QLD u/19’s rep who played alongside Tamika Upton for the CQ Capras side that lost in the grand final this year.

Shanice Parker (wing/fullback, 24)
Originally from WA and a rugby union background. Played 2 seasons for the Roosters, 1 game for NSW and 1 game for Maori All-Stars. Missed last season due to pregnancy.

Tayla Predebon (prop, 21)
Another local returning home. Debuted for the Roosters last season and played every game, came off the bench in the grand final.

Kyra Simon (prop, 20)
One of the few to get re-signed from last year’s squad. Good young prop.

Hannah Southwell (lock, 23)
Premiership winner returning home from the Roosters. One of the best locks in the comp & probably the best defender. NSW & Aus rep. Represented the Australian 7’s team as well as playing 18 games of goalkeeper for the Newcastle Jets as a teenager. The most likely choice for captain I think.

Jesse Southwell (halfback, 17)
First woman to ever sign a contract with the Knights when she was 14, a few years before we even had an NRLW team. Just won a Gold Medal with the Australian 7's team at the Commonwealth Games. Needed an exemption to play this season due to her age. Very gifted with the ball in hand and a tank in defence. Will be starting halfback according to big sister Hannah, who also said Jesse controls the game better than any halfback she’s played with. Fair praise from a NSW & Australian rep fresh off a premiership win, even if they are siblings.

Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly (utility back, 26)
Was one of many Kiwis who came over for the inaugural season but the only one re-signed. Made her debut for New Zealand earlier this year. Can play anywhere in the backline.

Kiana Takairangi (centre/wing, 30)
Former New Zealand & Cook Islands rep. Spent a couple of seasons at the Roosters but only played 2 games and has experience in other sports. Sister of former NRL player Brad Takairangi.

Romy Teitzel (second-row/centre/fullback, 23)
Joined the Knights from the Broncos last season due to her preferred position of fullback being occupied by Tamika Upton. Played fullback and captained the side here but had a quiet season. Recently captained NQ to the QLD women’s premiership playing second-row which will probably be her position this season, though she has played centre previously as well.

Tamika Upton (fullback, 25)
One of our 2 marquee signings. Incumbent QLD fullback, Indigenous All-Stars rep and 2x premiership winner with Brisbane. Played only 4 games last season but still managed 4 line breaks 24 tackle busts and 3 try assists in that time. Great support player, smart ballplayer and runs like she’s been fired out of a cannon - everything you want from a fullback.

Makenzie Weale (second-row, 20)
Former QLD u/19’s rep who’s been playing in the QLD women’s comp since she was 17. Metre eater according to the stats.

Jakiya Whitfield (wing, 21)
Speedy Australian 7’s rep making the move to league.

Coach: Ronald Griffiths
Recently spent 3 years as assistant coach for the Wests Tigers as well as being assistant coach for both the Men and Women's Indigenous All-Stars. Previously had stints as head coach for Kurri Kurri, Maitland & Greta Branxton in the local comp.


Staff member
So for the 2 home games that line up with the mens game, I assume admission is free since its after and before our games. Might be good to watch a 1st grade team in red and blue win some matches at home this season.


Round 1 team

1. Tamika Upton
2. Kiana Takairangi
3. Shanice Parker
4. Bobbi Law
5. Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly
6. Kirra Dibb
7. Jesse Southwell
8. Caitlan Johnston
9. Olivia Higgins
10. Millie Boyle (C)
11. Romy Teitzel
12. Yasmin Clydsdale
13. Hannah Southwell (C)

14. Emma Manzelann
15. Tayla Predebon
16. Kyra Simon
17. Simone Karpani

18. Caitlin Moran
19. Makenzie Weale
20. Jakiya Whitfield
21. Emmanita Paki
22. Tiana Davison
Last edited:

Still Nutty

So for the 2 home games that line up with the mens game, I assume admission is free since its after and before our games. Might be good to watch a 1st grade team in red and blue win some matches at home this season.
You get a general admission ticket with the $75 NRLW season membership for the 2 home games that are scheduled with the NRL draw that allows you to go and watch all grades that are playing on the day.

Still Nutty

The first game of the season could also be the same teams for the final game of the season, if we go as well as I think we can go this year.

Jesse Southwell to face off against Ali Brigginshaw in her debut game....certainly getting a baptism of fire.

This makes the time she spent in the Comm games Rugby 7s team even more valuable in prepping her for not being too overawed about stepping straight up to the NRLW and facing off against one of the best in the game...should be a great test for her and I reckon she will be up for it.

Really interesting to see Romy Teitzel being slotted into the back row - I was expecting her to move into an outside back role after Tamika Upton's signing. I think she has the ability to manage the attacking workload of a second rower but it will be interesting to see if she copes with the defensive workload straight away.

Should be a great game....looking forward to being there and cheering them on!

Still Nutty

Just saw that Hannah Southwell and Millie Boyle have been named co-captains for the 2022 season - likely to upset the front rowers union to have 2 props named joint captains😊

In all seriousness, congratulations to them both. I’m sure they’ll do a great job for the club and the team👍🏻👏👏👏
Really interesting to see Romy Teitzel being slotted into the back row - I was expecting her to move into an outside back role after Tamika Upton's signing. I think she has the ability to manage the attacking workload of a second rower but it will be interesting to see if she copes with the defensive workload straight away.
I watched the Qld womens GF earlier this year and Teitzel was outstanding in the back row. I think its her natural position.


Co-captain Millie Boyle at the NRLW launch yesterday;

Who is the hidden gem at your club?
Jesse Southwell has just come over from rugby sevens, and I’ve honestly never seen a player like her. She’s a combination of Hannah Southwell and Tamika Upton, which is freaky. She’s only 17 but she could have been playing in the comp a few years ago if she was old enough. She’s fresh from a gold medal at the Comm Games so she’s ready to make her mark on the NRLW.

Captains from all 6 teams were asked who is the most likely team to win the comp other than their own - 2 said Newcastle, 1 said Brisbane and the other 2 declined to comment.



wing/centre on the camera side for knights struggling in both attack/defence

Broncos in miss the kick 6-4


I don't think there is an NRL player, man or woman, who knows the rule about just needing to touch the ball with a foot over the sideline to make it out on the full from the kickoff...