Dragons Women's Premiership overview
When the NRL announced its Women's Premiership in December of 2017, the St George Illawarra Dragons expressed immediate interest in a licence.
A team 26 years in the making, the club's catchment area, particularly in the Illawarra, already had a demonstrated history of the development and propagation of women's rugby league.
By 2017, 14,000 women were participating in tackle, tag and touch formats of rugby league in our region.
Boosted by the commitment of Jillaroos duo and Dragons ambassadors Kezie Apps and Sam Bremner, a licence committee was appointed to help the Dragons' submission for inclusion in the inaugural competition.
So confident were the Dragons with their licence submission; the club announced Daniel Lacey as their inaugural coach in March of 2018. This prior to the Dragons even securing a place in the competition.
Later that month, the Dragons were officially named as one of the four elite women teams in the 2018 NRL Women's Premiership, alongside the New Zealand Warriors, Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters.
Eventual captain Bremner, Apps and Talesha Quinn were named as the Dragons' maiden marque players in June of 2018. State of Origin representatives Jess Sergis and Holli Wheeler quickly followed, alongside Illawarra locals Keeley Davis, Rikeya Horne and Shakiah Tungai, in the inaugural 22-woman squad.
While success was fleeting in the Dragons' maiden campaign, the club quickly bounced back in 2019.
Boosted by the signings of internationals Kimiora Nati, Maddie Studdon, Brittany Breayley, Maitua Feterika, Ngatokotoru Arakua and Teuila Fotu-Moala, the Dragons made the NRLW grand final only to go down to the Brisbane Broncos.
Revenge would quickly be served at the maiden NRLW Nines tournament in February of 2020, when the Dragons took out the competition upon defeating the Broncos to the tune of a 28-4 score line.