England star and ex-Leeds half-back signs world record deal in Australia

Josh McAllister
Georgia Roche, PA Images

Photo by Tim Goode/PA Archive/PA Images

All contracts in the NRLW have been publicly released ahead of the upcoming season Down Under, with one England star signing the longest-ever deal by a female player.

The 2023 NRLW Premiership will be the sixth professional season of women’s rugby league in Australia, with the number of teams increased from six to 10.

Teams will enjoy nine rounds of action followed by semi-finals and a Grand Final, with players also paid for a seven-week preparation period.

Action gets underway later in July, while Game I of the Women’s State of Origin took place last week as Queensland claimed an 18-10 victory over New South Wales in front of a crowd of 12,972 in Sydney.

All contracts announced including world record for Georgia Roche

Former Leeds and Castleford playmaker Georgia Roche is one of three English players to make the switch for the forthcoming season from the Women’s Super League.

And it has been confirmed that she has signed a world record five-year NRLW deal with Newcastle Knights.

Roche, 22, alongside star full-back Tamika Upton, have both committed their futures with the side until the end of 2027. 

The deals are the longest signed by a female player. 

England back-rower and ex-York Valkyrie star Hollie-Mae Dodd has signed with the Canberra Raiders for two years, while Fran Goldthorp has signed with North Queensland Cowboys and has an option to remain with the club until the end of 2024 in her favour. 

The longest contracts elsewhere run through until 2025 including for the likes of Australia international Lauren Brown (Gold Coast Titans) and fellow representative and Jillaroos captain Ali Brigginshaw (Brisbane Broncos).

Brigginshaw, 33, looks set to finish her career as a one-club player for Broncos, having led the Maroons to their recent victory in State of Origin.

Returning to the Gold Coast Titans after a short stint in England with Leeds, Georgia Hale is contracted until 2024, with the club holding the option for 2025. 

2022 Golden Boot winner and New Zealand star Raecene McGregor could be set to join another club in 2024, with her contract expiring at the end of the year.

Golden boot winners Isabelle Kelly and Jess Sergis have also signed with their clubs for only the one season and are free to negotiate with rival clubs for 2024. 

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