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2022 NRLW Signings Tracker: AFLW star joining Eels; Broncos re-sign star trio

Carlton AFLW star Brooke Walker has joined the Parramatta Eels for the upcoming NRL Telstra Women's Premiership, less than 12 months after almost doing so for their inaugural campaign.

Walker, a former rugby sevens Olympic gold medallist with ties to both AFLW and rugby league, had agreed to join the Eels last season after starring at the Harvey Norman National Championships.

However, the postponement of the 2021 NRLW competition meant Walker's schedule clashed with her AFLW commitments. 

The Eels confirmed Walker's signing on Friday with a goal to play her in the halves.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have announced the re-signings of representative stars Ali Brigginshaw, Amber Hall and Julia Robinson for the 2022 season.

The trio are the first players confirmed to remain at the Broncos after the three-time champions lost Tamika Upton, Millie Boyle and Lauren Brown to rival clubs in recent weeks.

"It’s really exciting to be able to announce the signing of three fantastic players who have been at the heart of our club for many years," Broncos coach Kelvin Wright said in a statement.

"We are really happy with the signings we are making and a lot of our current players have recommitted to the club plus we’ve got some really exciting new talent coming as well."

NRLW Match Highlights: Dragons v Roosters

The Titans have signed Brown in a major coup for the club ahead of their second campaign.

Brown will be one of the club's two marquee recruits with the former rugby sevens convert the first signing made by new coach Karyn Murphy.

Her switch comes after the Titans confirmed Steph Hancock and player of their inaugural campaign Jessika Elliston on new deals for the 2022 season.

Meanwhile, Newcastle pulled off the two biggest signings in NRLW history with Boyle and Upton set to join the club.

The Knights announced their signings in a major double coup that is set to have a domino effect on the rest of the competition.

Contracts By Club

NRL Telstra Women's Premiership

The fifth edition of the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership will start in August with a five-round regular season and two-week finals series to take place until October. 

The Roosters are the reigning premiers after winning their first title in the rescheduled 2021 competition in April with clubs currently working behind the scenes to lock in their talent ahead of the official 2022 competition. 

In a major change for the 2022 season, clubs will be subject to a $350,000 salary cap imposed for squads of 24 players while additional development players can also be signed on one-season contracts.

NRLW clubs will have until the end of May to lock in at least 22 of 24 squad members for the 2022 season.

The remaining two players can be signed by August 1 with teams to begin a short pre-season of preparation throughout July. 

These young guns have fired in the 2021 NRLW!

NRL Telstra Women's Premiership squads

Brisbane Broncos

Gains: TBC.

Re-signed: Ali Brigginshaw, Amber Hall, Julia Robinson.

Losses: Millie Boyle (Knights), Lauren Brown (Titans), Tamika Upton (Knights), Nakita Sao (injured).

Unsigned: Tarryn Aiken, Emily Bass, Shenae Ciesiolka, Jada Ferguson, Lavinia Gould, Tallisha Harden, Toni Hunt, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Hayley Maddick, Lesa Kaleti Mataafa, Hagiga Mosby, Roxy Murdoch, Kaitlyn Phillips, China Polata, Jessikah Reeves, Sara Sautia, Amy Turner.

Talking point: Brisbane have a wealth of talent to re-sign after losing Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton to Newcastle. The Broncos did well to blood some new talent in their first campaign where they didn't reach or win the grand final for the first time in club history. Among the young guns who the club will be looking to re-sign include wingers Emily Bass and Hagiga Mosby, along with forward Sara Sautia. Lock forward Nakita Sao won't be available due to a season-ending knee injury.

Brigginshaw seals the win

Gold Coast Titans

Gains: Lauren Brown (Broncos)

Re-signed: Jessika Elliston, Steph Hancock.

Losses: TBC.

Unsigned: Brittany Breayley-Nati, Kimiora Breayley-Nati, Destiny Brill, Karina Brown, Zara Canfield, Brianna Clark, Laikha Clarke, Lauren Dam, Jetaya Faifua, Tazmin Gray, Grace Griffin, Georgia Hale, Karli Hansen, Shannon Mato, Cobie-Jane Morgan, Lauren Moss, April Ngatupuna, Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell, Evania Pelite, Jasmine Peters, Shaniah Power, Tiana Raftstrand-Smith.

Talking point: There's been massive changes at the Titans ahead of their second season with former Jillaroos legend Karyn Murphy quitting her post at the NRL's integrity unit to take over the women's program at the club. Murphy replaces Jamie Feeney in the lead role and will be assisted by former NRL player Matt Geyer. Her next task will be to retain a core group of the squad who managed to reach the semi-finals in their inaugural season while exploring the market for a couple of big signings.

Brittany Breayley-Nati secures the victory for the Titans

Newcastle Knights

Gains: Millie Boyle (Broncos), Tamika Upton (Broncos).

Re-signed: Caitlan Johnston.

Losses: TBC.

Unsigned: Ngatokotoru Arakua, Phoebe Desmond, Kirra Dibb, Rangimarie Edwards-Bruce, Shannon Evans, Maitua Feterika, Jayme Fressard, Chantelle Graham, Katie Green, Bobbi Law, Emma Manzelmann, Annetta Nu'uausala, Georgia Page, Paige Parker, Charntay Poko, Krystal Rota, Charlotte Scanlan, Kyra Simon, Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly, Romy Teitzel, Tahlulah Tillett, Katelyn Vaha'akolo, Kararaina Wira-Kohu.

Talking point: An overall disappointing inaugural campaign means there's likely to be a squad overhaul for the second season in the Hunter with new coach Ronald Griffiths looking to keep some local talent while also luring players from the region home. Several Roosters premiership-winning players including Hannah Southwell, Yasmin Meakes, Olivia Higgins and Tayla Predebon are playing for Newcastle's Harvey Norman NSW Premiership side in a fair indication they're among at least half a dozen likely new recruits for 2022.

Fittingly, Teitzel gets the first Knights try

Parramatta Eels

Gains: Rueben Cherrington, Brooke Walker (Carlton AFLW).

Re-signed: Kennedy Cherrington, Tiana Penitani.

Losses: Botille Vette-Welsh (injured).

Unsigned: Therese Aiton, Abbi Church, Emily Curtain, Jocephy Daniels, Jade Etherden, Fatafehi Hanisi, Filomina Hanisi, Rikeya Horne, Ellie Johnston, Tommaya Kelly-Sines, Shirley (Seli) Mailangi, Nita Maynard, Sereana Naitokatoka, Taina Naividi, Christine Pauli, Christian Pio, Katrina May Phippen, Tess Staines, Maddie Studdon, Mareva Swann, Simaima Taufa, Jamie-Anne Wright.

Talking point: Dean Widders will be tasked with getting a core group of Eels players back in 2022 after the side just missed the finals on points differential in their first season. Widders will need to find a permanent fullback replacement for Botille Vette-Welsh, who will miss the remainder of the year after rupturing her ACL. 

Studdon stars for the Eels

St George Illawarra Dragons

Gains: TBC.

Re-signed: TBC.

Losses: Kody House (retirement)

Unsigned: Elsie Albert, Kezie Apps, Madison Bartlett, Shaylee Bent, Teagan Berry, Keele Browne, Jaime Chapman, Keeley Davis, Quincy Dodd, Tegan Dymock, Taliah Fuimaono, Talei Holmes, Shellie Long, Page McGregor, Aliti Namoce-Sagano, Rachael Pearson, Matilda Power, Alexandra Sulusi, Renee Targett, Emma Tonegato, Chantel Tugaga, Holli Wheeler, Janelle Williams.

Talking point: The Dragons will return for their fifth campaign still burning from their grand final defeat. How many players they can retain remains to be seen but their successful first season under Jamie Soward makes the Red V an appealing club to want to play for as they search for their first ever title after falling short twice.

Tonegato is all class

Sydney Roosters

Gains: TBC.

Re-signed: TBC.

Losses: Brydie Parker (injured).

Unsigned: Corban Baxter, Shawden Burton, Samantha Economos, Mya Hill-Moana, Olivia Higgins, Keilee Joseph, Simone Karpani, Jocelyn Kelleher, Isabelle Kelly, Olivia Kernick, Lauretta Leao-Seve, Taylor Mapusua, Raecene McGregor, Yasmin Meakes, Joeli Morris, Brydie Parker, Otesa Pule, Tayla Predebon, Jessica Sergis, Hannah Southwell, Zahara Temara, Leianne Tufuga, Sarah Togatuki.

Talking point: The newly-crowned champions will return in August looking to defend their crown but like their 2021 campaign, they face an uphill battle to keep some of their emerging talent. The Roosters are resigned to losing a few to Newcastle while they'll be on the search for a winger after Brydie Parker's heart-breaking ACL injury in the NRLW grand final.

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