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Ali Brigginshaw, Simaima Taufa, Georgia Hale and Kezie Apps at the NRLW season launch.

The second season of the Holden Women's Premiership was launched on Tuesday at the National Art School in Sydney.

Club captains Ali Brigginshaw (Broncos), Kezie Apps (Dragons), Simaima Taufa (Roosters) and Georgia Hale (Warriors) were among the guests at the launch after taking part in a special Sydney Harbour Bridge photo opportunity prior to the event.

The quartet were also joined by international teammates Annette Brander, Brittany Breayley, Tallisha Harden and Krystal Rota, who had their likeness painted on canvas within minutes by award-winning international speed painter Brad Blaze.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie were also in attendance.

"It's a great way to launch the season by coming down here from Brisbane and mixing things up," Brander told

"The pre-season so far has been really good. The Broncos girls just got back from Papua New Guinea after a trial game on the weekend so that was a good hit out.

NRL Holden Women's Premiership season launch 2019

"It's not long now and there's been a lot of movement across the competition, myself included, so we're all looking forward to getting into it and expected an even better competition."

Final details of the opening round are expected to be confirmed on Sunday night to coincide with the NRL finals.

First-round ground locations could include Melbourne's AAMI Park, SCG, Bankwest Stadium, Lottoland, GIO Stadium or ANZ Stadium.

The NRL has already locked in a standalone fixture for the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in round two, while the Roosters and Dragons will clash at Leichhardt Oval on September 29.  

"It's great to be able to get a home game and have the opportunity to play in front of our friends and family," Hale said.

"We did a lot of travel last year and you don't realise until you're in the middle of it how hard that can be. We're looking forward to finding out who our opponents are for that game and travelling back here in a few weeks to start our campaign."

And as for who the favourites will be leading into the competition, opinions were split amongst the players but the consensus consisted of the Dragons to improve.

St George Illawarra have had the biggest turnover in the league with 14 fresh faces but history suggests that is no guarantee of success.

"I wouldn't call us favourites," Dragons captain Apps said.

"I think it showed last year with the competition that combinations are critical in such a short space of time. Brisbane did that really well and I think the premiers are always a side who should be held in high regard a year later."

ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie, Keze Apps, Ali Brigginshaw, Simaima Taufa, Georgia Hale and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.
ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie, Keze Apps, Ali Brigginshaw, Simaima Taufa, Georgia Hale and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos
Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons 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 Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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