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Three-time champions Brisbane kick off their premiership defence against a Roosters side looking to convert their two grand final appearances in 2018 and 2020 into an elusive title.

It seems an eternity since these two sides squared off in the 2020 grand final, won 20-10 by Brisbane, and there's a host of new faces on show looking to make a mark in a massive season for the women's game.

The Roosers have Isabelle Kelly back on board and 2019 Dally M Medal winner Jess Sergis arrives at Bondi after three seasons at the Red V.

The Broncos will look to superstar skipper Ali Brigginshaw to lead the charge for a fourth straight premiership along with Chelsea Lenarduzzi and Julia Robinson, who have 22 games of NRLW experience between them and know what it takes to succeed on the big stage.

The rundown

Team news

Roosters: Skipper Corban Baxter was ruled out on Saturday and her place at fullback is taken by Brydie Parker with Taylor-Adeline Mapusua coming into the starting side in jersey No.24 on the wing.

Raecene McGregor comes onto the interchange bench to make her Roosters NRLW debut, while Joeli Morris becomes 18th player. 

The other players omitted from the squad on Saturday were Samantha Economos, Otesa Pule, Claire Reed and Mya Hill-Moana.

Rep stars Isabelle Kelly and Jess Sergis will form a dynamic centre combination. Zahara Temara has been named at five-eighth with 22-year-old Jocelyn Kelleher getting the nod at halfback. Olivia Higgins makes her NRLW debut at hooker as do Gloucester product Tayla Predebon at prop and back-rower Olivia Kernick.

Three more debutantes on the bench with Shawden Burton, Keilee Joseph and Simone Karpani all getting their first taste of the big time.

Broncos: The three-time champs again have a formidable look about them with halves Ali Brigginshaw and Tarryn Aiken, fullback Tamika Upton and hooker Lauren Brown making up a spine that will be the envy of the competition.

Winger Emily Bass, lock Nakita Sao and bench players Jada Ferguson, Sara Sautia and Roxette Murdoch have been handed their debuts and will be keen to make a big impression.

Prolific winger Julia Robinson is out to add to her career tally of five NRLW tries, second only to team-mate Upton with six.

Toni Hunt, Lavinia Gould, Lesa Kaleti Mata'afa and China Polata dropped out of the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 5 Brydie Parker
    Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tamika Upton
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Leianne Tufuga
    Winger for Broncos is number 2 Julia Robinson
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Jessica Sergis
    Centre for Broncos is number 3 Amy Turner
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Isabelle Kelly
    Centre for Broncos is number 4 Shenae Ciesiolka
  • Winger for Roosters is number 24 Taylor-Adeline Mapusua
    Winger for Broncos is number 5 Emily Bass
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Zahara Temara
    Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Tarryn Aiken
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Jocelyn Kelleher
    Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Ali Brigginshaw

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Sarah Togatuki
    Prop for Broncos is number 8 Millie Boyle
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Olivia Higgins
    Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Lauren Brown
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Tayla Predebon
    Prop for Broncos is number 10 Chelsea Lenarduzzi
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Yasmin Meakes
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Tallisha Harden
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Olivia Kernick
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Amber Hall
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Hannah Southwell
    Lock for Broncos is number 13 Nakita Sao

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Shawden Burton
    Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Jada Ferguson
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Keilee Joseph
    Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Kaitlyn Phillips
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Simone Karpani
    Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Roxette Murdoch
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Raecene McGregor
    Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Sara Sautia

Reserves

  • Replacement for Roosters is number 19 Joeli Morris
    Replacement for Broncos is number 18 Hayley Maddick

Match Officials

  • Referee: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Key match-up

Zahara Temara v Tarryn Aiken: The tactical battle between the two No.6s should be worth the price of admission alone. Temara has given magnificent service to the Roosters across the three seasons of NRLW and she'll look to ignite a star studded backline with her quality passing game. Aiken won the Nellie Doherty Medal as player of the match in the 2020 women's Origin game playing five-eighth alongside Temara for Queensland so they know each other's game inside out. Whoever takes bragging rights in the playmaking duel will go a long way to ensuring victory for their team.

Stat attack

Broncos No.1 gun Tamika Upton enjoyed a stunning 2020 NRLW season with five tries in four games to go with six line breaks and two try assists. The 24-year-old is at the peak of her powers, as evidenced by her 11 runs for 98 metres, four tackle breaks and a try assist in a stellar showing for the Indigenous All Stars in their win over the Maori All Stars a fortnight ago.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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