A clash of two of the NRLW’s newcomers will close out the first round of the season at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday.
Despite a lack of experience compared to some of their rivals who have longer histories in the competition, both the Sharks and Raiders have some genuine stars on their roster.
Entering the NRLW this year after missing out on a basic NRLW license in 2018, the Sharks will regain confidence from a pre-season run that saw them beat the Wests Tigers 22-0.
All but eight of his 24-person squad have previously played in the NRLW at other clubs.
Scattered among their group, which includes several up-and-coming players, the Raiders have drawn some big-name iconic players to the nation’s capital.
sharks: There are plenty of familiar faces in Cronulla’s inaugural lineup, none more so than Emma Tonegato, who will start at the halves alongside Tayla Preston. Holli Wheeler (knee) remains sidelined with Brooke Anderson as the starter and Sereana Naitokatoka as a substitute. Winger Anessa Biddle, All Stars representative Harata Butler and former rugby player Rhiannon Byers are in line for an NRLW debut, while there is no room for former Jillaroo Maddie Studdon, who is listed in the reserves.
raiders: The Green Machine will field seven rookies for the season opener led by England star Hollie-Mae Dodd and rugby sevens convert Cheyelle Robins-Reti, who will start in the centers alongside Mackenzie Wiki, the daughter of the legend of the Raiders, Ruben Wiki. The Raiders have plenty of experience in their spine with Kiwi Ferns fullback Apii Nicholls in the No. 1 jersey and Zahara Temara at the halves. Temara will play his younger sister Chante for the first time in their careers at the NRLW level. The bench has four rookies headed by former Wallaroo Grace Kemp.