You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Charlotte Caslick representing Australia at the Women's World Sevens Series in France in 2016.

Rugby sevens stars Charlotte Caslick, Ellia Green and Alicia Lucas are among a host of names who could line up for NRLW clubs in a cross-code recruitment drive that would light up women's sport.

NRL.com understands several players from Australia's rugby sevens squad have shown an interest in playing in the NRLW this season after the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Broncos women's CEO Tain Drinkwater confirmed there was interest in rugby talent on Thursday but insisted no formal negotiations with players had taken place at her club.

"A lot of the rugby sevens girls have reached out to some of the clubs to see if there are opportunities there given their season has been decimated," Drinkwater told NRL.com.

"They're still keen to play footy and be a part of an elite competition prior to the Olympics next year in July.

Australian rugby sevens star Ellia Green.
Australian rugby sevens star Ellia Green. ©photosport.co.nz

"If there's an opportunity to get them involved in rugby league, even if it's just for this year, or create some long-term transitions then that's something we'd certainly look at."

Drinkwater maintained the Broncos would remain a club built on loyalty and were not out to poach or transform their successful squad with rugby's best talent after dominating the first two seasons of the Holden Women's Premiership.

However, the possibility of luring a player like Caslick – regarded as the best women's rugby sevens player in the world – was something that not only the premiers, but any NRLW club, was unlikely to ignore.

Rugby Australia's sevens contracts are due to expire from August 31.

"If they're under contract then we probably may have a discussion with Rugby Australia around what that may look like, even if it's a temporary release," Drinkwater said.

"There's a lot of water to go under the bridge to secure their services, like for example with Charlotte – she'll be one of Rugby Australia's first signings.

"My expectation would be if she was interested in coming over then that would be a discussion we'd have with the NRL and Australian Rugby around what that may look like.

"We're also mindful about keeping the integrity of the team. We've worked hard over the past couple of years to not only recruit the right player but the right player that fits our culture."

The Broncos will have at least three spots open for the 2020 season with the retirement of Heather Ballinger and a season-ending knee injury to Amber Pilley.

Amy Turner playing for the Maroons in Origin 2019.
Amy Turner playing for the Maroons in Origin 2019. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Reliable centre Amy Turner is also expected to miss the competition after the birth of her second child in June.

"Given clubs are really having to look at expenditure across the board, whether it's NRL or NRLW, where we can recruit locally we absolutely will be," Drinkwater said.

"We're anticipating changes to the ruck rules and one referee will apply for the women's game also so that will demand a different style of footy.

"We're looking at everyone who is playing in the South-East Queensland competition and what other talent is out there to suit the new style of game.

Millie Boyle’s reaction to NRLW return

"It's really important for us to acknowledge we've had a successful couple of years but we need to reset and put that behind us. The world has changed and we'll need to adapt to that."

The Roosters and Warriors would also benefit from the services of rugby sevens players across Australia and New Zealand.

After telling NRL.com this week at least 10 Roosters spots were on the table, new coach Jamie Feeney has plenty of room to move with recruitment.

The Warriors could also make the most of their direct contact with New Zealand's rugby sevens talent pool.

St George Illawarra are unlikely to explore the same avenues despite losing Holli Wheeler and Najvada George to season-ending knee injuries, while Takilele Katoa (pregnancy) is also unavailable.