The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced the retention of star fullback Emma Tonegato ahead of the 2022 NRL Telstra Women's Premiership season.
Tonegato enjoyed a breakout debut season in 2021, which saw her named joint Dally M medallist and spearhead the Dragons' campaign to a grand final appearance.
The Wollongong native won the Rugby League World Cup with the Jillaroos in 2013, before switching to rugby sevens where she has since claimed Olympic gold, Commonwealth Games silver and two World Series titles.
Tonegato said she is looking forward to another season with Dragons and staying in her local area.
"I'm super excited to be back at the Dragons," Tonegato said.
"We didn’t reach our full potential last season, but I had a ball. We have a great group of girls and being coached by Jamie (Soward) was a great experience.
"I wanted to stay at home and make sure I remained in the best environment to be at my best."
Dragons NRLW coach Jamie Soward credits the team culture for retaining much of the 2021 grand final squad.
"Anytime you get a Dally M medallist wanting to come back it's a huge boost," Soward said.
"We were very confident that Emma would re-sign. We just needed to give her some time to make that decision.
"It's a reflection of the culture our players and staff have built to have players of this calibre wanting to stay at the club."
The Dragons look forward to announcing the remainder of its 24-woman squad in the coming weeks.
St George Illawarra Red V Women's Premiership memberships are now available. Join the team as we strive to go one step further in 2022.
St George Illawarra's NRL Telstra Women's Premiership squad (so far):
- Elsie Albert
- Kezie Apps
- Shaylee Bent
- Keeley Davis
- Quincy Dodd
- Taliah Fuimaono
- Rachael Pearson
- Emma Tonegato
- Holli Wheeler