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The focus will be on Charlotte Caslick as the rugby sevens superstar debuts for the Roosters against a Dragons side driven by the anguish of falling just short last year. 

Caslick, an Olympic Gold medallist without league experience, is expected to start in the halves for new coach Jamie Feeney, who is tasked with improving a talented team after a winless campaign.

St George Illawarra have retained the nucleus of the side that lost to Brisbane in the 2019 grand final including Kezie Apps, Dally M Medallist Jess Sergis and halfback Maddie Studdon.

Inaugural captain Sam Bremner's NRLW return is a huge boost for the Dragons. They won't be lacking in confidence having won the Perth Nines tournament in February.

The rundown

Team news

Roosters: The Roosters are 1-17. Rugby Sevens star Charlotte Caslick will start at five-eighth while new fullback Botille Vette-Welsh headlines the new recruits along with centre Yasmin Meakes, back-rower Kaitlyn Phillips and bench trio Sarah Togatuki, Kennedy Cherrington and Jocelyn Kelleher.

Rikey Horne and Maddison Weatherall were omitted from the extended bench on game day after Bobbi Law and Melanie Howard were dropped from the reserves 24 hours out from kick-off.

Dragons: Superstar fullback Sam Bremner will return to the fold after a season off with damaging centre Isabelle Kelly, veteran prop Steph Hancock, PNG Orchids lock Elsie Albert among the new signings in the starting side.

Former Jillaroo Mahalia Murphy will return from rugby on the interchange while the wealth of three-quarter talent will see Shakiah Tungai given a chance at five-eighth partnering Maddie Studdon. 

Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili starts at prop with Ellie Johnston shifting to the bench in the Dragons' only late change.

Grace Hamilton and Amelia Mafi dropped off the extended bench an hour before kick-off after Jade Etherden and Teagan Berry were omitted from the squad on Friday.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Botille Vette-Welsh
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Sam Bremner
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Shanice Parker
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Tiana Penitani
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Corban McGregor
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jessica Sergis
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Yasmin Meakes
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Isabelle Kelly
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brydie Parker
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Jaime Chapman
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Charlotte Caslick
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Shakiah Tungai
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Zahara Temara
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Maddie Studdon

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Simaima Taufa
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Stephanie Hancock
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Nita Maynard
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Keeley Davis
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Filomina Hanisi
    Prop for Dragons is number 14 Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Vanessa Foliaki
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Kezie Apps
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Sarah Togatuki
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Shaylee Bent
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Hannah Southwell
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Elsie Albert

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 12 Kaitlyn Phillips
    Interchange for Dragons is number 8 Ellie Johnston
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Quincy Dodd
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Christine Pauli
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Kennedy Cherrington
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Talei Holmes
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Jocelyn Kelleher
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Mahalia Murphy

Match Officials

  • Referee: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Clark

Last updated:

Key Match-Up

Botille Vette-Welsh v Sam Bremner: Vette-Welsh has outlined her desire to become the best fullback in the women's game and Bremner's return to St George Illawarra was one of reasons she headed back to Bondi.

The Kiwi Ferns representative will want to shine against her old teammates. Meanwhile, Bremner showed at the Nines that she'd lost none of her ability despite an extended stint on the sidelines because of the birth of her son. At fullback or in the halves, she will add class.

Stat Attack

Dragons centre Jess Sergis enjoyed an incredible 2019 where she proved incredibly hard to stop in the NRLW, averaging 5.25 tackle busts per game. For the Roosters, Corban McGregor broke four tackles per match, as did the returning Botille Vette-Welsh while wearing St George Illawarra's No.1.