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Rookie watch: Maddick ready to grab second NRLW chance

Ahead of the rescheduled NRL Telstra Women's Premiership, NRL.com profiles the next crop of talent ready to make their mark in 2022.

Rookie snapshot

  • Name: Hayley Maddick
  • Age: 29
  • Club: Broncos
  • Position: Utility back

There are few things Hayley Maddick regrets in life but knocking back Kelvin Wright's offer to join the champion-winning Broncos in 2020 sits high on her list. 

It's why when Wright called for a second time in July last year, she might as well have answered the phone with just 'yes' instead of greeting him with a hello.

The touch football star, who played for the Broncos at the NRL Nines in Perth in 2020, still isn't sure why she said no to Wright a few months later in the first place.

"It was probably the worst decision I've ever made," Maddick said.

"I didn't have a lot of time to make it and there were some protocols around the competition that year.

"I would've had to have dropped everything including work, and I was studying at uni to become a teacher. I ended up saying no, which looking back was a really bad choice. I said the wrong thing."

Touch background helps Maddick shine in Nines

Maddick watched on in Brisbane as the Broncos secured their third premiership in as many seasons to continue their dominance in the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership.

Fast forward 12 months and Wright was on the phone again after Maddick produced a solid season for Valleys in the BHP Premiership.

"When he called me that time I said 'whatever you're asking, I'm saying yes'," she laughed. 

"I've already planned out my year because it's going to be full-on with placements, uni and touch, but I can't wait."

Maddick arrives at the Broncos with a wealth of experience and accolades in the touch football arena, having been named touch football player of the year at the Dally M awards in 2019.

The departure of Romy Teitzel to Newcastle has opened the door for Maddick to act as an understudy to Broncos star fullback Tamika Upton in 2022.

"I love fullback, it's a bit like touch and is easy to slot into but it's a very competitive side to try and get a spot in," she said.

"I always watch Tamika at training and pick up things from her all the time. It's with everyone else too, to be honest.

"The attack comes naturally for me than throwing your body in front of someone. 

"I haven't got the technique completely down pat yet but we're working on it. One thing I've learned is you certainly can't go in half-hearted."

An unreal year for Women's rugby league awaits

Despite a core group of Broncos stars remaining at the club for the rescheduled competition, the champions will still have at least nine rookies in their squad with Maddick among those yet to debut.

"A lot of the girls are the same from the Nines [in 2020] so knowing everyone before was nice going in," she said.

"But there are also quite a few young girls I don't really know so everyone is good, open and happy. I think that's what makes the Broncos so great."

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