Newcastle Knights’ squad for the upcoming National Rugby League Telstra Women’s Premiership is complete after the signing of rugby sevens player and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jesse Southwell.
The 17-year-old signed after returning from Birmingham games last week after appearing on the bench in Australia’s gold medal win over Fiji on Monday morning Australian time.
The five-eighth kick started training with head coach Ronald Griffiths’ squad late last week and could make her NRLW debut alongside her older sister, Jillaroos and the NSW Origin star Hannah, this season.
Southwell’s signing completes the Knights’ 24-woman squad ahead of their first clash with the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, August 21.
After helping the Knights advance to the Tarsha Gale Cup finals earlier this season, Southwell ultimately missed out on the Knights’ grand final against the Roosters Indigenous Academy after winning selection to the Australia rugby 7s squad. for the World Series in Langford, Canada.
She also featured in a match at the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership, scoring a try and scoring five goals at half-back in a 34-20 win over South Sydney in early May.
She would then earn Commonwealth Games selection after her second World Series event in Toulouse, France in May.
Southwell scored a try and started a conversation on his Commonwealth Games debut, a 50-0 rout of Scotland, before coming on late in Australia’s group stage loss to Fiji.
After not seeing game time in Australia’s semi-final victory over New Zealand, Southwell was brought into the action during the second half of the final, where Australia reversed their previous loss to Fiji with a 22-12 win to claim the gold medal.