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Madison can now see her Rugby League future

St George Dragons Tarsha Gale Cup captain Madison Mulhall is a player on a mission.

The club, which has entered a team in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership for 2023, now has a direct pathway into the Dragons’ NRLW program and Mulhall won’t let that opportunity slip by.

The young prop forward was named captain of the Dragons in Tarsha Gale in 2023 and has already been signed up for the NRLW development squad.

“So, NRLW is definitely on the cards for me and that’s what I’m aiming for,” Mulhall told

“It’s been a goal and now it’s nearer in my future.”

From the small hamlet of Orangeville, west of Camden, Mulhall admires NRLW forwards Kezie Apps (Bega Roosters) and Tara McGrath-West (Yass Magpies), who both have country connections.

“I look up to a lot of very talented Dragons players – Taliah Fuimaono (five-eighth) is another who takes a lot of time with us younger girls.”

She thanked Tarsha Gale coach Huw Ellis, and Dragons women’s pathway co-ordinator Michelle Anderson, for their faith in naming her skipper.

“I wasn’t captain last year, but I found a couple of weeks out from the end of pre-season that I would be this year,” she said.

“I was a little surprised – being captain is pretty awesome.

“I guess it does because I wanted to be a leader of our pack so it’s important to be influential and be that figure that people can turn to.”

There are a few heads turning when the name ‘Madison’ is called out at Dragons training. There is fullback Madison So-Murphy and half Madison-lee Kelly in the Under 19s team.

“I know – it’s madness but it never gets confusing on the field,” Mulhall said.

“We’re all different positions so there’s never really a problem.”

The new season started with a thud – a 50-4 loss to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round One.

“We’re a pretty new team with some development players in our 17 but we’ve got a big, energetic squad,” Mulhall said.

“We’re bringing girls through and getting their technical and balls skills up to speed so that’s exciting.

“We approach every game wholeheartedly. Training and getting better is part of why we want to play each week. Our coaches are very focused on our defence and ball-playing skills.

“As we start to get those things right, we’ll see the improvements.”

Green shoots did come. Round Two was only a four-point loss (18-14) to the Wests Tigers, Round Three was a 14-all draw with the Penrith Panthers and Round Four gave the Dragons their first win – 20-12 over neighbourhood rivals, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

That progression has been as satisfying for Mulhall as her transition into the front row. 

“I started at Camden Rams playing centre then into the second row, and when I trialled for the Dragons I started in the back row – but now I’m at prop,” she said.

“I’ve been in the front row for a year-and-a-bit now. It’s my preferred position now.

“Defending and attacking that line really suits me.

“I used to play netball – obviously a non-contact sport – but I started to realise I didn’t mind a bit of contact.

“Now I have a ‘run straight, run hard’ kind of philosophy.”

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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