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The Broader Game: Sergis back to where it all started

A player's decision to switch NRLW clubs doesn't just affect a squad but the commercial side of the game, especially if you're in the elite calibre like Roosters recruit Jess Sergis.

Sergis, who will link with the Tricolours this season, is a proud ambassador for Cadbury and this week had to pull on her new colours to get some updated marketing shots after three years at the Dragons. 

The 2019 Dally M Medal winner was all smiles talking about her move east this week when she took part in a Telstra Hersday photo shoot, but her defection has been met with disappointment by Red V supporters.

"It was something that I thought about for a while after moving back to Sydney for work earlier this year and I had to weigh it all up," Sergis told

"Working full-time takes a toll and adding three nights of training as well I didn't want to commute 90 minutes to Wollongong for training this year, it just wouldn't have worked for me.

"There are a lot of girls in the same situation and most of them you'll find are playing for a club closest to them this year.

Get in the game: Jessica Sergis

"I thought it was time for a change but to be perfectly honest I had my mind towards joining a new club that hadn't played in the competition before. That's what I really wanted to do. 

"Then I got a call from my manager and got the Roosters deal done over a coffee.

"I spoke to [Roosters coach] John Strange after that meeting and he was really easy to talk to and that’s what got me over the line.

"I've heard great things about John and the coaching staff. When you've got teams who are becoming equally spread with talent it comes down to the coaching.

"The girls have got so much respect for him and if you've got that much respect for your coach I want to be coached by him."

Sergis grew up supporting the Bondi club and would often be seen in the grandstands at the SFS decked out in red, white and blue.

"I've been a Roosters supporter my whole life in a family full of Souths fans," Sergis said.

"I love the rivalry between the two clubs and hopefully one day if a women's Souths side comes into the NRLW we can have the same.

"It's great to see the competition is expanding. It doesn't bother many of us when it might start this year but as long as we play a competition. We could play at Christmas time and I don't think we'd care."

The Roosters have lost fullback Botille Vette-Welsh to the Eels this year while Charlotte Caslick is unlikely to return to the club following the Olympic Games.

It leaves Sergis with an opportunity to play at fullback after making the No.1 jersey her own for Helensburgh in the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership this year.

"It's definitely on the cards but we'll just have to wait and see when we start training," she said.

"Playing fullback in the NRLW is the next level. You've got me, Issy [Kelly] and Brydie Parker so far in the squad so there's a lot of potential there."

Penitani all class on other side of the camera

There is a familiar voice commentating Rugby Sevens at the Olympics this week with Parramatta recruit Tiana Penitani showing off her skills behind the microphone.

Penitani was the youngest ever Australian representative to represent her country at the senior level in rugby sevens in 2013 before returning to rugby league in 2019.

The NSW and Jillaroos outside back has proven to be all class on and off field and is a big reason why the Eels went above and beyond to get the former Dragon to the club this season.

Tiana Penitani and Dene Halatau host That Pacific Sports Show.
Tiana Penitani and Dene Halatau host That Pacific Sports Show. ©

Penitani's connections to the pacific island communities were considered a major attraction for the Eels, who have a strong mix of cultural representation in their inaugural squad.

Penitani is a co-host alongside Dene Halatau on ABC's That Pacific Sports Show, which premiered in November last year.

Davis dares to dream for 2032

Australian Jillaroos young gun Keeley Davis was just eight weeks old when the Sydney Olympic Games kicked off in Sydney.

Like many Aussies, the 21-year-old did the maths this week to see how old she'd be by the time the 2032 Olympic Games come around in Brisbane.

"I'll be 32!" Davis quipped.

Davis said it would be "unbelievable" if the next Australian-hosted Olympic Games could include a rugby league format.

"I don't know if I'll be fit enough for a Nines tournament at 32 but it would be absolutely unreal for the code if it could be part of the games," Davis said.

"The rugby sevens format is fairly similar so I'm not sure if they could both be included but there would be plenty of international countries who could play.

"It would really help put rugby league further on the international map."

Krystal Rota’s sacrifice for All Stars clash

Future Knight in travel hurdle

Kiwi Ferns captain Krystal Rota continues to play the waiting game when it comes to flying to Australia after linking with the Knights.

Rota is one of at least nine New Zealand-based players set to wear the red and blue this season but was given additional time with her daughter before flying over.

Rota's daughter, Nikayla, has a rare kidney disorder and will be looked after by her parents and partner while the experienced rake is away.

It is hoped she will be able to join her new teammates soon.  

PNG boost for NRLW club

Fan-favourite Elsie Albert is set to return to the NRLW this season with the Papua New Guinea forward currently undergoing a 14-day quarantine in Brisbane.

Albert was a hit in her maiden NRLW campaign at the Dragons last year with the club eager to ensure she returned to the Red V this season.

Elsie Albert takes on the Warriors.
Elsie Albert takes on the Warriors. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The 25-year-old powerhouse finished third in post-contact metres per game last year with 46.6, behind international forwards Amber Hall and Millie Boyle.

It sets up an intriguing battle with her mentor from last year, Steph Hancock, set to don Titans colours this season.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations. 

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