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Soward appointed Dragons NRLW coach

Former premiership-winning Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward has been confirmed as the club's new NRLW coach for 2022.

Soward will replace Mat Head, who has been appointed as an assistant's role with St George Illawarra NRL coach Anthony Griffin.

Head was initially going to replace inaugural NRLW Dragons coach Daniel Lacey this year before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the women's competition.

His replacement, Soward, played 215 NRL games across three clubs during his career including 140 in the Red V.

Soward was instrumental in helping the side to a premiership in 2010 and returned to the club earlier this year in a consultancy role Griffin.

He will take on greater duties in the women's space including a key role in the Dragons' female academy while continuing to act as an NRL specialist coach.

The former NSW Origin representative will be supported by Ryan Bailey, who will become the club's first full-time NRLW performance manager.

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"We are extremely pleased with the quality personnel joining the Dragons' expanding football department," Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said.

"These additions will all play crucial roles throughout the Dragons' football structure, ensuring a stronger connection between the NRL and NRLW programs, the NSWRL competitions we compete in and our junior representative pathways.

"The Dragons' dedication to our male and female academies and our vast catchment area will continue with the further allocation of resources toward our development programs."

NRLW clubs are set to begin pre-season training in January as part of a bumper schedule planned in 2022.

Newcastle is on the lookout for a new NRLW coach with Blake Green unavailable to commit to the upcoming season.

Green was announced as inaugural NRLW coach in June with the club expected to confirm his replacement ahead of their maiden campaign.

Parramatta coach Dean Widders has agreed to stay on for the inaugural campaign after resigning from his role as South Sydney's Harvey Norman NSW Premiership coach in the NSWRL competition.

Broncos coach Kelvin Wright, Roosters counterpart John Strange and Titans mentor Jamie Feeney are expected to stay on with their clubs.

Meanwhile, Tahnee Norris has been re-appointed as the Maroons women's State of Origin head coach as she moves into an expanded full-time role to strengthen female pathways and development in Queensland.