Illawarra Steelers Tarsha Gale Cup captain and Stingrays of Shellharbour product Teagan Berry is set to shine on the national stage after signing with the Dragons for the upcoming NRLW season.
This year, however, the outside back is determined to impress in the expanded NRLW and St George Illawarra coach Mat Head said Berry will be one to watch.
"Teagan is one of our locals and is a significant signing given her progression through the club's junior pathways," Head said.
"She's a player with plenty of speed who will only go from strength to strength following her NRLW debut last year."
Berry is one of six new signings the Dragons announced on Tuesday, with Steelers teammates Chantel Tugaga and Keele Browne inking deals with the club - with the latter being a Milton-Ulladulla junior.
"Keele and Chantel are an example of the early success of our female Dragons Academy," Head said.
"The one thing about our pathways is we're able to instil in them what it means to be a Dragon while we help them with parts of the game they need improving.
"I can see both of these girls making their NRLW debuts this season if they continue to put in the work at training.
"They have hit the ground running already and both have big futures ahead of them."
Also returning to Wollongong for the upcoming NRLW season are Papua New Guinea captain Elsie Albert, promising second-rower Talei Holmes and winger Jaime Chapman.
"All these players hold the club and the jersey close to their hearts and we wanted to repay the favour," Head said.
"They will play a big part in where we're going in the future and we're excited to have them back."
The group join a St George Illawarra side that will be led by marque signings Kezie Apps, Keeley Davis, Shaylee Bent, Quincy Dodd and Holli Wheeler.
The players will have to wait to hit the field, the NRL delaying the women's competition due to coronavirus.
The season will now start in the week of the men's grand final and run for six weeks.
Albert impressed with her physicality upfront throughout 2020 and Head is confident she can be even better with a full preparation under her belt.
"When determining our squad for the upcoming campaign we wanted to make sure we re-signed the right players from last season, those who wanted to don our jersey," Head said.
"To have Elsie from the start of pre-season unlike last year will only benefit her and the club.
"She's a powerful player and an international who will be a huge asset to our club."
The first-year coach also heaped praise on fellow recruits Chapman and Holmes.
"Talei has a big future at the Dragons and I can see representative football in the not-so-distant future," Head said.
"She's small in stature but puts her body on the line and is an important retention for the club.
"Jaime is a player who will bring excitement to the Dragons.
"Her versatility is a bonus and although we don't know where she'll play she will definitely have a spot in our backline which she will own.
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