You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Eels find Vette-Welsh replacement with Olympic gold medallist

Parramatta have found their replacement for injured fullback Botille Vette-Welsh with former New Zealand rugby sevens star Gayle Broughton the latest player to switch codes and sign with the club.

Broughton, an Olympic gold medallist who finished up in the rugby sevens program earlier this year after seven seasons, has been playing for Mounties in the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership.

The 25-year-old has hit the ground running since starting her league journey with four tries in five games ahead of a possible NRLW debut in August.

With Vette-Welsh sidelined for the remainder of the year after rupturing her ACL in March, Broughton is likely to fill her shoes in the No.1 jersey.

Parramatta confirmed Broughton amongst an 18-player signing announcement on Wednesday night that had several personnel changes from their inaugural campaign.

Gayle Broughton scoring a try while playing for the Black Ferns in rugby sevens
Gayle Broughton scoring a try while playing for the Black Ferns in rugby sevens ©PhotoSportNZ

NSW Origin representatives Tiana Penitani, Filomina Hanisi and Kennedy Cherrington will return as key players for the second season while Ellie Johnston, Abbi Church, Rikeya Horne, Christian Pio, Seli Mailangi and Tess Staines have also been retained.

Former Roosters forward Vanessa Foliaki has secured her first NRLW contract since 2020, joining the club after a two-year absence.

Uncapped players include former rugby sevens player Brooke Anderson, Ruby-Jean Kennard, Ash Quinlan, Taylor Preston and Rima Butler.

Carlton AFLW star Brooke Walker, who grew up playing rugby league, was announced as a key signing by the club last week.

Former NSW and Australian representative Vanessa Foliaki is also back in the NRLW.
Former NSW and Australian representative Vanessa Foliaki is also back in the NRLW. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

Players who have gone unsigned include Kiwis hooker Nita Maynard, who has signed with a rival club, and Fatahesi Hanisi, who has also been snapped up by another franchise.

Others without deals include former NSW halfback Maddie Studdon, Therese Aiton, Emily Curtain, Jocephy Daniels, Sereana Naitokatoka, Taina Navidi, Tommaya Kelly-Sines and Christine Pauli. 

The Eels have a further four players to announce before a further two more can be signed by August.

It's understood inaugural captain Simaima Taufa is one of the four players expected to be announced by the club soon. 

Eels 2022 NRLW squad (so far)

  • Tiana Penitani
  • Filomina Hanisi
  • Kennedy Cherrington
  • Gayle Broughton
  • Vanessa Foliaki
  • Ellie Johnston
  • Abbi Church
  • Ash Quinlan
  • Rikeya Horne
  • Brooke Anderson
  • Rueben Cherrington
  • Seli Mailangi
  • Tess Staines
  • Brooke Walker
  • Christian Pio
  • Taylor Preston
  • Rima Butler
  • Ruby-Jean Kennard
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.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS