Meet the Brisbane Broncos teen sensation who swapped cheerleading and athletics for rugby league

Having already exceeded expectations since taking up the game of rugby league, Brisbane Broncos academy teen sensation India Seeto is a star in the making.

WHILST the vivacious teenage prodigy embraces her chance of a lifetime at one of the NRL’s most powerful clubs, India Seeto was somewhat of a late bloomer.

Even though she has only been playing rugby league for the past six years, her cv is quite remarkable, and she has seized the moment with every opportunity that has been presented to her.

“I started playing rugby league when I was twelve and I suppose these days, that’s pretty late considering girls here in Australia are signing up to clubs as young as six.

“My teacher at school asked if I would be interested in trying out for the girls rugby league team and given that I was into athletics and feeling fit, I jumped at the chance.

“From that moment on, I have never looked back and wish I had started playing the game earlier.”

Interestingly, we may not have seen the talented Seeto pick up a rugby ball at all, given her hectic sporting background.

“Prior to me playing rugby league, I was actually a cheerleader for 10 years and heavily into athletics.

“Track and field were my go-to in athletics and I competed in the 100m, 200m and shot-put events.

“I was always interested in sport and keeping active, but for me personally, I just loved dancing and running.

“I suppose the running part has helped my game as such, but my cheerleading days are over, because I am having too much fun now on the field with the other girls.”

In her brief period in rugby league, Seeto has moved up the ladder at a rapid pace.

Not only does she play for the Brisbane Tigers in the women’s Queensland Cup competition, but she was also a dual women’s academy player at both the Sydney Roosters and Gold Coast Titans before inking a contract at the Broncos.

However, it is her representative duties that are career defining milestones including selection in the Queensland Kokomo’s PNG women’s side, the Australian schoolgirls side and she became etched in rugby league history being one of seventeen girls who were selected for the inaugural Queensland U18’s women’s team.

“It is crazy to think what I have achieved in such a short amount of time in rugby league, but if you work hard and follow your dreams just as I have, then anything is possible.

“If it was not for my dad (who also played rugby league) pushing and encouraging me, then who knows, I may just still be just running around the athletics track.”

Seeto’s parents who hail from remote South Bougainville, an autonomous island perched between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, emigrated to Australia for a better life, with the Tweed Heads born student’s love for her parents’ heritage, being unsurpassed.

“I qualify for both PNG and Australia and now that I have represented both countries, I am enthusiastic about pulling on either jersey.

“In fact, I have represented PNG in the women’s Kokomo side in the QPICC competition in Queensland, a stepping stone to one day, playing for the PNG Orchids side.

“I certainly do not have a favourite country, but there was something about pulling on that PNG jersey that made me think about my parents and where they came from.

“A dream of mine is to gain selection in the Orchids side and tick off another goal on my list that I am yet to achieve.

“Seeing the passion the PNG Orchids ooze is infectious and I am hopeful they can become even stronger.”

Although Seeto has a fierce allegiance to her PNG heritage, she is grateful for the opportunity of playing for Australia and also gaining selection for Queensland at such a tender age.

“I will never forget that inaugural U18’s Queensland schoolgirls game in 2022. Not only were we pioneers for Queensland schoolgirl rugby league, but it was playing in the curtain raiser before the men’s State of Origin game, which was so surreal.

“I can still remember the girls being incredibly nervous, with players throwing up, whilst others were just lost in the moment.

“However, the girls all walked away from that game with an unforgettable experience.”

But it was the Logan-based Seeto’s surprise selection for Australia that gave her the ultimate buzz, giving the powerful lock forward an opportunity of a lifetime.

“I still remember that moment that like it was yesterday.

“I was in class when my mum texted me to call her.

“I had to get permission from my teacher to take the call and it was mum on the other end saying that I had just been selected for Australia.

“All that work I had put in was so worth it, as now I was also able to represent my place of birth.

“Many girls will never have the luxury of representing their country, but it just goes to show that hard work really does pay off.”

Whilst the effervescent Seeto continues to forge a career in rugby league with one day hopefully making the Broncos NRLW side, she does aspire to become a teacher as she embarks on a teaching degree.

“You have to have something to fall back on if things do not work out.

“But for the time being, I am enjoying this fantastic run of luck I am having.

“If you think you are good enough to make it in rugby league, then I encourage any girl to give it a go.

“Life is short and time waits for nobody, so the longer you leave it, the more you will start to doubt yourself.

“I am living proof that if you want something badly, then you have to be prepared to make sacrifices if you want to achieve your goals.”

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 494 (March 2024)

Click here to subscribe to the print edition of Rugby League World

Click here for the digital edition available from to read on your computer, tablet or smartphone