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The Warriors' approach to NRLW re-entry

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Six years is a long time in rugby league at the best of times, but in the women's game right now it’s an eternity.

Just ask the Warriors, who are in the process of rebuilding their NRLW program for re-entry in 2025 amid a landscape that looks completely different to the one they navigated when they were first part of the competition back in 2018. 

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Bulldogs beat Tigers 36-0 in the Lisa Fiaola Cup GF to round off a dominant year. Bulldogs line-up included Trinity and Paige Tauaneai. Their sister Alexis debuted for Dragons NRLW in 2023 after starring for Bulldogs in Tarsha Gale Cup. Trinity is on a Dragons development contract. Good chance Bulldogs will eventually get both back for their NRLW team.

The Tauaneai family moved to Sydney last year from Wainuiomata in Wellington. Exemplifies the most telling part of the posted article for NZRL and Warriors - "Some of the country's best teenage talent are hopping on planes to pursue opportunities across the ditch".

Much of the movement will be influenced by social media. Ambitious Kiwis can see the superior coaching, facilities, school programmes, level of competition. Many have family or friends already in Oz. Just a question of how disposed the parents are to relocation.

BTW, some Bulldogs LF Cup players are astonishingly for that age. Honestly think even the best UK under-17s team would struggle to keep the score below a point a minute.

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There is some absolutely freakish players coming through, one is the sister of Dolphins winger Jack Bostock who plays for the Steelers.

Everything under the sun is in tune

But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

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Manly have set up a female pathways partnership with Mangere East Hawks in South Auckland.

Sea-Eagles female junior reps have been stronger than I expected. Tarsha Gale team made a solid start last year. Kicked on, this year. Narrow semi-final loss to the Knights. The new Lisa Fiaola team were more erratic, but still competitive on the whole.

Like the Roosters, diffuse recruitment networks are crucial for Manly. Few of their players are products of the Northern Beaches. The cup of Manly-Warringah JRL is not exactly overflowing.

Hawks probably have the largest female junior section in NZ. Usually at least one team in every grade of ARL comps.

So, an apposite and mutually beneficial arrangement. However, can't suppress the thought that this is happening under the nose and in the backyard of the Warriors.

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