You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
NRLW Broncos season preview 2019

Defending premiers Brisbane Broncos will enter the 2019 NRLW season as the hunted and that suits new coach Kelvin Wright and his team just fine. 

The Broncos were a cut above their rivals in 2018, conceding just six points per game and dominating the first-ever NRLW decider 34-12 against the Roosters at ANZ Stadium. 

The question now is whether the Broncos can go back-to-back or will they be beaten for the first time in NRLW history?

New coach Kelvin Wright knows joining the Broncos comes with the weight of expectation to continue their momentum in the second campaign.

The Outlook

What's new

Surprise changes to the coaching staff and a 50 percent player turnover from last season, which will give the defending premiers a fresh challenge after breezing through the 2018 premiership. 

Not only is this seen as a positive across the entire competition but the Broncos have identified the next generation in signing their 2019 squad, while they managed to retain just about every player they wanted to. 

Meet “The Incomparables” changing the game

"For 40 percent of girls to not get re-contracted across the game there's obviously more girls playing and pushing others out of their positions," Broncos playmaker Ali Brigginshaw told

"It's great for the game and it makes you work harder.

"A lot of people are surprised that we got a new coach after last year but it mixes things up and new coaches can bring different ideas.

What's new for NRLW?

There's things I've learnt I never knew about before."

The Draw

The Broncos will start their premiership defence against St George Illawarra at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday before a clash against the Roosters at a venue to be confirmed the following week. 

Wright's side avoided a round two trip to Auckland by default after the NRL announced a standalone Dragons-Roosters clash in round three at Leichhardt.

This indicates another away trip is on the cards against the Warriors in Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra during the same round, pending the draw for the NRL preliminary finals. 

The Broncos celebrate their NRLW 2019 premiership.
The Broncos celebrate their NRLW 2019 premiership. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

The stat that gives you hope

Pretty much all of them. The 2018 Broncos dominated the stats for possession, runs, run metres and overall individual numbers and the points flowed as a result.

Chelsea Baker was enormous in attack with two tries and four line breaks during the regular season. Ali Brigginshaw backed her up with three try assists. 

The coach

Kelvin Wright arrives at the Broncos after coaching local side Tweed Heads earlier in the season.

The former Kiwi Ferns coach has recruited former Warrior Simon Mannering and Broncos club legend Corey Parker as his assistant coaches.

With 648 games of NRL experience between them, Mannering and Parker know what it takes to win big games and how to handle the pressure of expectation. 

New Broncos assistant coach Corey Parker.
New Broncos assistant coach Corey Parker.

"Everything has gone really smoothly so far and that comes down to our staff," Wright told 

"All the players have responded well to the changes and they've embraced learning new things from different people."

Player movement/Contract matters

A host of changes have been made to last year's premiership-winning squad, headlined by the departure of Brittany Breayley, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Ngatokotoru Arakua and Maitua Feterika to St George Illawarra. 

The Broncos have lured Jillaroos Annette Brander and Tazmin Gray back to the Sunshine State, while relying on a fresh crop of young talent including Australian touch football representatives Tarryn Aiken and Tamika Upton.

Raecene McGregor is another big signing with the Kiwi Ferns halfback set to complement Brigginshaw in the halves in a swap for Kimiora Nati, also Wollongong-bound. 

The game-breaker

Remember the name Millie Boyle from State of Origin in June? This time around the NSW star will be donning the colours of Brisbane and what a coup it could turn out to be.

Boyle ran a game-high 142 metres for the Blues in just 31 minutes of game time in the interstate clash. 

The dual-code representative has shelved her rugby union commitments for the NRLW season and is one of the rising forwards in the game.

She'll be a welcome addition alongside the likes of stalwarts Steph Hancock and Heather Ballinger in the engine room. 

The player you should follow on social media

Chelsea Lenarduzzi

They don't call her "sock bae" for no reason with the Broncos forward's obsession with socks reaching new heights every month.

The former shot put champion doesn't mind mixing things up when it comes to putting a new pair on each day, no matter the occasion, and proudly shares it on the social media platform. 

The quote

"You can have whatever team you create but as long as you pull it together during this competition is what counts. It doesn't matter who you've got, we have a team that might be less experienced this year but we can still win the competition." - Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw.


Chelsea Baker, Heather Ballinger, Ali Brigginshaw, Steph Hancock, Rona Peters, Amber Pilley, Meg Ward, Julia Robinson, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Lavinia Gould, Taylor Mapusua, Mariah Storch, Tazmin Gray, Annette Brander, Raecene McGregor, Millie Boyle, Amber Hall, Tarryn Aiken, Amy Turner, Jessika Elliston, Rosemary Vaimili-Toalepai, Tamika Upton.

Tarsha Gale's prediction

Finish: 3rd

The great Ali Brigginshaw will lead an outstanding Broncos roster that has retained enough of last year’s premiership-winning team. They have strong and experienced forwards led by Heather Ballinger and Steph Hancock, which will be crucial to their campaign. New coach Kelvin Wright has every reason to be confident that he can achieve back-to-back premierships for Broncos but I've got them pencilled in to finish short on last year's efforts. 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners