Stone appointed Roosters women's coach

Former NRL coach Rick Stone has been appointed Sydney Roosters women's coach for the 2019 NRLW season.

Stone, 52, coached the Newcastle Knights in 72 games in two stints across four seasons in the NRL. 

He spent three years as coach of Huddersfield in the English Super League before he was sacked in 2018 for performance-based reasons and returned to Australia.

Stone accepted the role of CRL Newcastle coach for the NSW Harvey Norman Women's Premiership side and has the team sitting third on the ladder.

The state competition will conclude in early August before the NRL Holden Women's Premiership kicks off for its second season during the men's finals series in September.

Stone replaces foundation coach Adam Hartigan, who has chosen to focus on his full-time role at the Roosters as football and recruitment manager.

"This is a new challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to being involved with the team at the Roosters," Stone said.

Former Knights coach Rick Stone has been appointed to coach the Roosters women's team.
Former Knights coach Rick Stone has been appointed to coach the Roosters women's team. ©NRL Photos

"It’s exciting to see the rapid rate at which women’s rugby league is evolving."

It's understood the Tricolours have begun contract discussions with players to coincide with Stone's appointment being made.

NRL.com understands the NRLW is set to see a large number of player movements ahead of the second season with several international players expected to switch clubs.

The Roosters will need to find replacements for Nakia Davis-Welsh and Taleena Simon (both pregnancies) with the pair set to be unavailable.

Taleena Simon last season with the Roosters.
Taleena Simon last season with the Roosters. ©NRL Photos

Last year's Jillaroos debutants Holli Wheeler and Hannah Southwell are options for Stone, who both played for the Dragons during the inaugural season.

Stone coaches the pair at CRL Newcastle, while travel will see their time cut in half with a move to Bondi for the eight-week training and playing commitments.

Elsewhere, the Broncos could lose powerhouse Kiwi Ferns forward Teuila Fotu-Moala to a Sydney-based club given her current commitments with North Sydney, while Julia Robinson has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing ankle and leg surgery.

Brisbane are looking to lure Kiwi Ferns juggernaut Honey Hireme north to play under former coach Kelvin Wright.

Last year's marquee recruit Caitlin Moran is also unlikely to return to Red Hill after recently moving to Wollongong.

A move to the Dragons for Moran is on the cards, which would be a much-needed boost for the club with Sam Bremner ruled out through pregnancy.   

Clubs will be operating under a points salary cap system for the 2019 season.

Each club will be allowed to sign 22 players whose value totals a minimum of 120 points and a maximum of 160 points, with a player worth:

  • 10 points if they played for the Jillaroos or Kiwi Ferns;
  • 8 points if they played State of Origin for NSW or Queensland;
  • 4 points if they represented the PM’s XIII against the PNG Orchids in Port Morseby, and;
  • 3 points if they played at the National Championships.

The Harvey Norman National Championships kick off at Pizzey Park in Burleigh on Thursday.