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Southwell, Johnston headline Therabody NRLW Young Gun Team of the Year

They're the fresh and emerging talent who have lit up the NRLW for the 2022 season. 

Whether they've made their debut this season or played a handful of games, the next generation of stars have arrived in style, ensuring the NRLW goes from strength to strength for years to come.

Here is the Therabody Young Gun Team of the Year for the 2022 season.

1. Jada Taylor (Roosters)

Burst onto the scene in June with a 109-metre to saviour in the under 19s Origin match before backing it up with a fine NRLW debut against the Titans that included a try and six tackle busts. A star in the making.

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2. Andie Robinson (Dragons)

Another coming off a barnstorming performance for NSW in the under 19s match with a hat-trick of tries, Robinson will go into her fifth game on Sunday after a solid start to her NRLW career which has included a try, six tackle busts and 73-metre average per game.

3. Emmanita Paki (Knights)

The Queensland representative got her chance to debut in round four against the Roosters and hasn't disappointed with the 19-year-old now set to start on the wing for the Knights in the semi-final. Paki scored the first try of her NRLW career on the left edge last week and doesn't look out of place in Newcastle's backline.

Jesse Southwell with the vision

4. Keele Browne (Dragons)

Had a brief taste of the NRLW last season and has built on that with another five games this campaign. The Ulladulla product is averaging 68 metres per game while she has one try and 10 tackle busts so far ahead of her side's clash with Newcastle on Sunday.

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5. Zali Fay (Eels)

Made her NRLW debut in Round 2 and has looked at home on the left edge. Crossed for a try against the Broncos last week to help the Eels into their first finals appearance on Sunday and has 13 tackle busts and four line breaks to go with a 100-run metre average per game.

6. Tayla Preston (Eels)

Came into the side in Round 2 and has made an immediate impact for the Eels, particularly with her kicking game alongside Ash Quinlan. Has conjured up three try assists in four matches and averages 290.2 kick metres per game with the boot.

7. Jesse Southwell (Knights)

The 17-year-old has been a standout for the club in her five appearances in red and blue so far with the upcoming finals series a chance to see how she can take her game to the next level under more pressure. Has four try assists, three offloads and five goals to go with a 110-running metre average per game.

Southwell class for Johnston try

8. Caitlan Johnston (Knights)

Went into the 2022 season with just four NRLW games under her belt but has really made up for it this season to lead from the front for her hometown club. Johnston is averaging 125 metres per game while she's scored two tries, made 10 tackle busts and three offloads so far this campaign.

9. Jada Ferguson (Broncos)

Has played a utility role for the Broncos this season, mainly filling in at hooker off the bench and adding spark around the ruck. Started off the campaign with minimal minutes but clicked into gear in the back half of the year with a handy contribution.

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10. Tara McGrath-West (Dragons)

A nugget of gold to come out of the NRLW this season with the Dragons prop proving she's more than capable at this level after being picked up from the North Sydney Bears.

11. Jasmine Fogavini (Broncos)

Was awarded the club's rookie of the year award earlier this week and for good reason. The Kiwi Ferns hopeful proved a mainstay on the right edge after making her NRLW debut in Round 2. The Blacktown Workers junior averaged 79 metres per game while adding 10 tackle busts and 92 tackles to her tally for a nice overall contribution.

McGregor puts it on a platter for Pule to get her first NRLW try

12. Otesa Pule (Roosters)

After being part of the club's development squad last season, Pule has gone one step further to make an impact for the Roosters via the bench in 2022. The Caboolture local junior earned a start for the side in Round 4 but it was her Round 5 performance against the Titans that really showed her potential for the future.

13. Makenzie Weale (Knights)

Another Queensland product who has made inroads for the Knights this season off the bench. Weale made her NRLW debut in Round 2 and predominantly played a middle role despite being known as an edge back-rower or centre. 

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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