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Co-captains named for NRLW team

The Parrramatta Eels have announced two co-captains for the 2022 NRLW competition.

Last season’s captain Simaima Taufa will be joined by recently re-signed Tiana Penitani to guide the team through the highly anticipated five-round competition which kicks off on August 20.

The 24-member squad were handed their 2022 blue and gold jersey by coach Dean Widders in front of family and friends and the Parramatta board on Thursday night.

The women were later introduced to the crowd at a wet CommBank Stadium prior to the men’s game between Parramatta and the Brisbane Broncos.

Penitani described the co-captaincy role as “incredibly humbling” and said she is looking forward to partnering up with Taufa to lead the girls into Round 1 against the Roosters at home.

Eels' NRLW season officially launched

“It’s an honour and I’m really excited. There’s so much talent in our sport,” the 26-year-old said.

“We have a big job to close out the 2022 season and I hope Mimes can teach me a few things.”

She also praised Taufa and labelled her as “the best player in the world”.

“The accolade she holds is incredible,” Penitani said.

“I really value her qualities and they’re priceless. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She speaks through her actions.”

Taufa is humbled to return as co-captain for the Western Sydney side alongside Penitani and said she will bring a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to the game.

“It’s incredible to have her beside me and she will complement some of the leadership skills I’m missing,” she said.

The Parramatta women’s side hope to lead the next generation of young girls coming through the blue and gold system and to inspire future players to take up the sport.

“We always talk about leaving the jersey in a better place than how we found it. We know the stories the players left to get us where we are today,” Taufa added.

“We want to be pioneers for the women’s game that brings the next young girls through.”

Coach Dean Widders went through a review of the first season of the NRLW Parramatta team after they narrowly missed out on making the semi-finals.

“We have high expectations for this squad and we can’t wait to play,” he said.

“It was a great experience in that foundation year. We’re as good as a chance as anyone. We’re excited with all the players we’ve got and the team we have put together.”

The Parramatta Eels NRLW team held its first training session on Monday night alongside the U17s Lisa Fiola squad to ensure its strong links with the Club’s development pathways.

They will take on reigning premiers the Roosters in an all-Sydney derby in front of a home crowd on Saturday August 20 at CommBank Stadium.

NRLW 2022 Team List

Brooke Anderson

Gayle Broughton

Kennedy Cherrington

Rueben Cherrington

Abbi Church

Zali Fay

Vanessa Foliaki

Najvada George

Filomina Hanisi

Rikeya Horne

Ellie Johnston

Ruby Jean Kennard

Losana Lutu

Shirley Mailangi

Tiana Penitani

Christian Pio

Rima Pirini Butler

Tayla Preston

Ash Quinlan

Tess Staines

Simaima Taufa

Cassey Tohi-Hiku

Brooke Walker

Luisa Yaranamua

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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