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Sharks ramp up NRLW bid with key signings

Cronulla have ramped up their bid to be part of the NRLW in the near future by unveiling the signings of representative trio Sam Bremner, Holli Wheeler and Shontelle Stowers for the 2022 season.

A week after the Wests Tigers landed Kezie Apps and Jessica Sergis for the state competition's Harvey Norman NSW Premiership, set to be played between the NRLW seasons in 2022, the Sharks confirmed their key signings on Wednesday. 

Wheeler and Stowers, who will line up for the Dragons in the NRLW early next season before representing the Sharks in the lower tier competition, both come with great experience after previously playing for North Sydney.

Bremner, who is due to give birth to her second child in the coming days, is targeting a return to the field with the Sharks in April.

"My first game back will be in a Sharks jersey and I’m really excited about that," Bremner said.

"After speaking to [coach] Tony (Herman), to a few of the girls and to Brails (Glenn Brailey), I thought coming back to play for the Sharks was a great opportunity."

The Sharks, who already boast a host of NRLW talent including Corban Baxter, Tiana Penitani and Kennedy Cherrington, are likely to push for a license to the NRL's elite women's competition within the next two years.

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Penitani and Cherrington have locked in deals with Parramatta for the postponed NRLW season in early 2022 but are free agents for the second competition later next year, where the Sharks could feature if further expansion takes place.

Baxter is contracted to the Roosters while Quincy Dodd has joined Wheeler and Stowers at the Dragons.

"Our goal is to be a part of the NRLW if not in 2022 then definitely in 2023 and while a number of our girls will play in that competition early next year," Sharks development & pathways manager Glenn Brailey said.

"To be able to pull together such a strong squad for our Harvey Norman women’s team is certainly very exciting."

Along with the trio of recruits, the Sharks have also secured NSW under-19s representative Rueben Cherrington, the younger sister of Kennedy, after she completed high schooling in Western Australia this year.