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Koster, Tauaneai re-up with Dragons in double boost

The Dragons are thrilled to announce that promising teenagers Ella Koster and Alexis Tauaneai have agreed to multi-year extensions with the club.

Koster, 18, has signed a two-year extension that will keep her at the club until at least the end of the 2025 NRLW season whilst Tauaneai, also 18, has inked an extension that will see her remain a Dragon until at least the end of 2026.

A highly-touted local junior who captained the Steelers' Tarsha Gale Cup side earlier in the year, Koster made the leap up to NRLW level in Round 1 and immediately proved an asset.

In eight appearances, she scored a pair of tries, averaged 69 run metres, and made 192 tackles at near 90 per cent efficiency.

A proud Gweagal and Wiradjuri woman, Koster also showed off her versatility spending time in the middle, on the edge, and in the centres.

She also received the club's Emerging Talent Award at the end-of-season NRLW Awards.

Dragons NRLW head coach Jamie Soward is overjoyed that Koster, who he declares will one day be a club captain, has opted to extend her Dragons stay.

“Ella had such a breakout season and turned into one of the leaders within the group at such a young age,” Soward said.

“Her work ethic and competitive side are what I love. I'm very proud and honoured that she has chosen our club. She will be a club captain one day; I have no doubt.”

Tauaneai, meanwhile, linked up with the club prior to the season after receiving Player of the Tournament honours at both Tarsha Gale Cup and Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships level.

She was rewarded with selection in NSW’s under-19s State of Origin squad but instead opted to declare her allegiance to her native New Zealand.

Tauaneai was also handed an NRLW debut in Round 1 this year and quickly cemented herself as a pillar of the side's pack.

She made seven starts before her season was cut short prematurely due to a knee injury suffered as a result of a hip drop tackle.

In those seven outings, she averaged 148 run metres and made 213 tackles at 96 per cent efficiency en route to a Coach's Award nod at the club's NRLW Awards.

Soward was also full of praise for Tauaneai, who he too believes has a huge future at the club.

“Alexis is such a unique talent that has all the skills to be the best middle in the world,” Soward said.

“She moves with ease and sees the game like she’s been around for years. I’m so excited she has chosen the Dragons to continue her journey in the NRLW. I’m proud that her and her family are all a part of the Dragons; we love sharing this experience with them.”

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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