Dragons land NZ sevens gold medallist Nathan-Wong

·2-min read
Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

Olympic gold medallist Tyla Nathan-Wong will aim to take her tormenting of Australian defenders from rugby sevens to the NRLW after agreeing a deal to join St George Illawarra.

The 28-year-old will be joined in this year's competition by Corban Baxter and Brydie Parker, who will be welcomed back to NRLW action by the Sydney Roosters.

Nathan-Wong, who is famed for her off-beat interviews, is the final signing on Jamie Soward's roster ahead of the competition's July 22 start date. 

Nathan-Wong has a lengthy honours list in union's seven-a-side format, winning two World Cups along with gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Dragons said she was likely to assume a playmaking role after she was granted a release from her contract with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) on Wednesday.

NZR said in a statement the timing of Nathan-Wong's switch was "not ideal" but that she would remain in consideration for selection for next year's Olympics in Paris.

"I am excited to be jumping across the ditch and joining the NRLW," Nathan-Wong said.

"It will be a great opportunity to grow myself and my game on and off the field in a different sport, team, and environment before hopefully returning to the sevens program.

"As an athlete, I love the challenge and growth that sport offers, so to be able to test myself in a different format and experience a new space to refresh is hugely exciting."

Fullback Baxter and winger Parker will return to the NRLW with the Roosters.

World Cup-winning Jillaroos representative Baxter skippered the Roosters to their first NRLW title in 2021 before sitting the subsequent campaign out through pregnancy.

Parker, a member of the Rooster's inaugural NRLW squad in 2018, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 2021 grand final win that ruled her out of the 2022 season.

"It's inspirational to see Corban making her return to the competition after giving birth to her youngest son earlier this year," Roosters coach John Strange said.

"It's also great to welcome Brydie back from her injury.

"She's worked tirelessly over the last 13 months to be back."