Dual premiership-winners Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton have stunned the NRLW community by leaving the Brisbane Broncos and signing with the Newcastle Knights for the 2022 season.
The signings of Boyle and Upton are a massive coup for one of the NRLW’s two newest sides and also have the potential to significantly weaken the Broncos’ stronghold on the competition.
Brisbane won three of the first four NRLW Grand Finals but bowed out of the 2021 season in the semi-finals.
The departure of two Origin stars won’t help their quest to bounce back and return to the title decider in 2022.
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Boyle’s decision to sign with the Knights could also entice her partner, Canberra Raiders utility Adam Elliott, into following her to the Hunter.
The Knights have already expressed interest in luring Elliott north once his Raiders contract runs out at the end of the season.
Newcastle Knights head of recruitment Clint Zammit said the club was delighted to have signed Boyle and Upton.
“To be able to attract players like Tamika and Millie to the Knights is very exciting for our NRLW team and our members,” Zammit said.
“We are very proud to have them part of the Knights NRLW and look forward to what they will bring to Newcastle both on and off the field.”
NRLW stars don’t come much bigger than Boyle and Upton.
Since joining the Broncos in 2019, front-rower Boyle has won two premierships, played three Origin games for NSW and won the Rookie Of The Year award for her stellar first season.
Off the field, Boyle showed her mental and physical toughness by winning the most recent series of SAS Australia.
“I couldn’t be more excited to arrive in Newcastle and experience what it’s like to run out in a Knights jersey,” Boyle said.
“The team the Knights are building will be very competitive … there’s a good mix of experienced players and really exciting young talent coming through. The season can’t come soon enough.”
Upton is also a dual premiership player and has represented both Queensland and the Indigenous All Stars.
Capable of playing at both fullback and on the wing, she said moving to Newcastle would give her an opportunity to improve her craft.
“First and foremost, I’m coming to Newcastle to get better,” Upton said.
“Everyone I have met here on both the women’s and men’s sides are invested in ensuring this team becomes a success and I’m looking forward to playing a small part in that.”