The St George Illawarra Dragons will meet defending premiers the Newcastle Knights on Saturday, July 22nd at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle for their 2023 season opener. This is your game day guide.
McGregor skippers Red V
Prized recruit Raecene McGregor will lead the Dragons out for their season opener against the Knights as Jamie Soward’s squad enters a new era.
Fresh off a Dally M Medal and a World Cup Final berth, McGregor will be partnered in the halves by fellow Kiwi Tyla Nathan-Wong who makes her NRLW debut after a storied rugby sevens career for New Zealand.
A three-time NRLW premiership-winner, McGregor returns to the club she made her debut for back in 2018 as they look to build on a 2022 season that ended in a semi-final loss.
Where: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Watch: Nine, 9Now, Kayo & Foxtel
A groundbreaking NRLW season
The NRLW is embarking on its most ambitious season yet with a quartet of new teams – the Canberra Raiders, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers – joining the premiership.
All 10 clubs will play each other on one occasion before the top four teams compete in a finals series.
It all kicks off this weekend with the Titans hosting the Cowboys in the opening clash of the round on Saturday followed by the Dragons facing the Knights and the Broncos meeting the Roosters before the Eels and Wests Tigers kick off the Sunday slate of game with the round ending with a Sharks and Raiders showdown.
New faces for the Dragons
With just five of last year’s squad members returning for 2023, a new-look Red V squad will take to the field on Saturday afternoon against the Knights in Newcastle.
The club’s all-time leading try-scorer Teagan Berry has been named at fullback with Keele Browne in the centres, Tara McGrath-West in the front row, Renee Targett at hooker and Zali Hopkins on the interchange.
10 players will be making their Dragons debut with Shenai Lendill, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Alexis Tauaneai, Ella Koster and Jamilee Bright all making their NRLW debuts.
Knights looking to defend their crown
Nine members from Newcastle's victorious Grand Final side have been named for this weekend's clash headlined by Origin stars Tamika Upton, Jesse Southwell, and Yasmin Clydsdale.
Laishon Albert-Jones, Abigail Roache, and Sheridan Gallagher will all make their NRLW debuts in Round 1.
Hannah Southwell is unavailable due to a knee injury, however, Clydsdale and Caitlan Johnston and both been named to play despite injury concerns.
Law comes up against former club
Dragons recruit Bobbi Law will line-up in the centres against the side that she helped deliver an NRLW title a season ago.
A two-time Indigenous All-Stars rep, Law played six games for the Knights last season winning all six and scoring a try in their Round 1 victory over Brisbane.
The 26-year-old is entering her fifth NRLW season and first in the Red V as she looks to build off a strong 2022 campaign.