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Everyone's a free agent: NRLW clubs to enter signings frenzy for Nines

NRLW clubs competing at the Nines tournament in February will have the possibility to sign any player in the game for the weekend in Perth.

In a test of player and club loyalty in the women's game, every player is now officially a free agent ahead of the tournament next year as all NRLW contracts expired in October. 

The unique circumstances present clubs with the opportunity to retain a core group of players who were part of their club in season two of the NRLW while also having the opportunity to chase recruits from rival teams. understands contracts will only last for the weekend's tournament with players again then becoming free agents for clubs to sign once more leading into the third season of the Holden Women's Premiership in 2020. 

It is understood clubs were reluctant to go down the avenue of offering 12-month contracts given the state and local side commitments in between both the Nines and NRLW competitions, along with the rapid growth in the code. 

While one club official told they were "worried" their players could look elsewhere for the weekend, another representative from a rival team believed player movement wouldn't be high on anyone's agenda given the length of the two-day tournament.

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Club costs are also likely to play a part with limited preparation for clubs likely to deter them from paying money from their own pockets to relocate a big-name recruit. 

The event could clear the pathway for a club like St George Illawarra to potentially sign a player like Sam Bremner for the weekend after the Jillaroos star missed the 2019 season following the birth of her son Reef in August.

Likewise, the Roosters could provide former Jillaroos winger Nakia Davis-Welsh with an opportunity to represent the club after training with the Tricolours during the NRLW season following the birth of her son, Steven. 

The Warriors could potentially field 12 of their incumbent players that were part of New Zealand's squad which won the Downer World Cup 9s. 

Clubs are expected to fill their 16-player squads in January. 

Female players were part of past Nines tournaments for three seasons from 2015-2017 with Australia and New Zealand clashing in a three-game series on the same weekend as the men's NRL tournament in Auckland. 

It is the first time NRLW clubs will play in the shortened formatted competition.

NRL Nines 2020 is headed to Perth

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