Double winners Prime Minister Mill Boyle and Tamika Upton stunned the NRLW community by leaving Brisbane Broncos and signing with the Newcastle Knights for the 2022 season.
The signing of Boyle and Upton is a massive coup for one of the two newest sides of the NRLW and could also significantly weaken the Broncos stronghold in the competition.
Brisbane won three of the NRLW’s first four Grand Finals, but dropped out of the 2021 season in the semifinals.
The departure of the two Origin stars will not help their quest bounce back and return to deciding the title in 2022.
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Boyle’s decision to sign with the Knights may also encourage her partner, Canberra Raiders utility manager Adam Eliot, to follow her to Hunter.
The Knights have already expressed interest in bringing Elliott north as soon as his contract with the Raiders expires at the end of the season.
Newcastle Knights recruiting manager Clint Zamitt said the club was happy to sign with Boyle and Upton.
“Being able to attract players like Tamika and Millie to Knights is very exciting for our NRLW team and our members,” Zamit said.
“We are very proud to be part of the NRLW Knights and look forward to bringing them to Newcastle both on and off the field.”
NRLW stars are not much bigger than Boyle and Upton.
Since joining the Broncos in 2019, frontman Boyle has won two premiere shows, played in three Origin games for NSW and received the Newcomer of the Year award for his stellar first season.
Off the field Boyle showed his mental and physical resilience by winning the latest SAS Australia series.
“I couldn’t be happier to come to Newcastle and feel like running out of the Jersey Knights,” Boyle said.
“The team that Knights is building will be very competitive … it has a good mix of experienced players and really exciting young talent. The season can’t come fast enough. “
Uptan is also a double player in the premiership and has represented both Queensland and Indigenous All Stars.
Able to play both on the flank and on the flank, she said moving to Newcastle would give her a chance to improve her skills.
“First of all, I’m coming to Newcastle to recover,” Upton said.
“Everyone I’ve met here, both female and male, is investing in making this team a success, and I’m looking forward to playing a small part in that.”