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Sharks continue to build ahead of 2023 NRLW season

The Sharks continue to build a formidable squad ahead of the 2023 NRLW season and their first official training session scheduled for Monday with the announcement of further player signings.

In edging closer to completing their 24-player roster, the Sharks have secured the services of another six talented women as they add depth to Cronulla team for the club’s first season in the NRLW competition.

The latest signings include Jazmon Tupou-Witchman and Chloe Saunders who were both members of the Sharks Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership team in 2023, along with newcomers Georgia Ravics, Sereana Naitokatoka, Fiona Jahnke and Annessa Biddle.

Sharks NRLW & Female Pathway Manager Casey Bromilow explains this latest group of players to commit to the Cronulla club bring varying levels of experience and different skill sets, but all will compliment those already confirmed as excitement builds towards the kick off to the upcoming season.

“With these six girls we have some with NRLW experience, others to have played junior representative origin, Chloe is a former Australian rugby sevens player, Jazmon was a member of the Cook Islands World Cup squad and Sereana has represented Fiji,” Bromilow said.

“All bring something to our squad and (Coach) Tony (Herman) and the girls are now excited and ready to get to work from next week.”

In Jazmon Tupou-Witchman, the Sharks have signed a young front rower from the Wynnum Manly club in Queensland with immense promise, having played for Maroons in the under-19’s Origin and for the Cook Islands at a World Cup.  

After making an impression as a member of the Sharks Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership team earlier this year, Tupou-Witchman who was the Wynnum player of the year in 2022 as a 19-year-old, will push for a regular berth in the Sharks team and also has an opportunity to learn and develop alongside the experienced forwards in Cronulla’s NRLW pack.

Another to have played in the international arena is Sereana Naitokatoka, a young half/hooker described by many as having plenty of x-factor. The Mounties five-eighth in their HNWP team this year, Naitokatoka has represented her nation of origin in Fiji and was a member of the Eels NRLW squad over the past two seasons.

Also having showed off her footballing skills on the world stage is Chloe Saunders, albeit with the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team. With strong leadership characteristics as a former captain of the NSW Rugby 7’s side, Saunders made the transition to rugby league in 2023, playing for the Sharks HNWP side, with her progression and ability earning this opportunity at the NRLW level.

Further adding to the Sharks forward depth will be Fiona Jahnke, a Queenslander from the Norths Devils club who represented her state at under 19’s level. With size and power, Jahnke is another to complement the senior Sharks middle forwards in 2023.

While last but by no means least, two athletic outside backs in Georgia Ravics and Annessa Biddle get their first opportunity to impress at the NRLW level.

Ravics played on the wing for the Bulldogs HNWP team which was beaten 1-0 in the Grand Final by Mounties this year, while Biddle is a powerful ball runner with a strong fend who represented Counties Manukau in the NZ National Championships this season.

The Sharks squad, minus four players on State of Origin duties, will assemble on Monday for their first official NRLW training session as preparations ramp up for the season ahead, with the Sharks to play Canberra in their opening game on July 23.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour 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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