Jillaroos stars Sam Bremner and Kezie Apps are set to be unveiled by St George Illawarra as the first two confirmed signings for this year’s inaugural NRL Holden Women’s Premiership.
The Dragons will announce the signings of Bremner and Apps at a press conference at St George Leagues Club on Tuesday as they begin assembling a squad for the four-team competition to be played as double-headers with NRL finals matches.
It is unclear if St George Illawarra recruitment manager Richard Agar will reveal any further signings at the press conference after attending last weekend's National Championships on the Gold Coast.
Bremner, who did not get to play in last year’s World Cup after suffering a stress fracture in her lower leg during a training session with the Jillaroos, was named player of the tournament in a successful return to the representative arena.
Apps was also a member of the NSW Country squad, which beat NSW City 16-12 in Sunday’s final and she scored a hat-trick of tries in the team’s opening win of the tournament against the Australian Defence Force.
The 2016 Dally M Medal winner, who played her junior football alongside Melbourne Storm forward Dale Finucane before having to stop playing at 12 years old under rules at the time, missed the final due to a minor injury.
Dragons recruitment target, Ruan Sims, suffered an arm injury at the tournament which is expected to keep her out of the June 22 State of Origin at North Sydney Oval, but she will have recovered before the start NRL Holden Women’s Premiership.
Sims’ sister, Canecia, is also in the sights of the Dragons, along with teenage Australian representative Rikeya Horne, who plays against Bremner and Apps in the Illawarra competition.
Bremner, Apps, Horne and the Sims sisters are among the 40 players last week offered 12-month NRL contracts, valued at up to $30,000.
Each of the four NRL clubs – St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Sydney Roosters and the Warriors – are able to sign up to 15 marquee players from a pool comprising of the 40 NRL contracted players and the NZRL’s top 20.
The clubs need to finalise their marquee signings in the next two weeks before recruiting other players to make up their 22-women squads.