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Marquees signed: Boyle and Upton join NRLW squad

The nib Newcastle Knights are delighted to announce the dual signings of marquee recruits, Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton, for the upcoming 2022 NRLW season.

Both players are highly regarded athletes, bringing world class skills, work ethics and NRLW premiership-winning success to the Knights squad.

Primarily a front-row forward, Boyle has previously played for the Brisbane Broncos winning two NRLW competitions and earning representative honours for both NSW and Australia.

The 23-year-old capped off a remarkable season by winning the coveted Dally M Medal earlier this year after averaging 198 metres per game and crossing for three tries.

Also, a dual- premiership winner with the Broncos, Upton is regarded as one of the elite fullbacks in the women’s game and has won two State of Origin titles with the Queensland Maroons.

The livewire fullback brings speed, instinct and try-scoring finesse to the Knights squad.

Newcastle Knights Head of Recruitment, Clint Zammit, said the signatures of Boyle and Upton are a real coup for the Club.

“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.

“They are both world class players in their respective positions, who have a real desire to keep improving their games. 

“It’s important as a club we sign good people as well as good players, both Tamika and Millie are wonderful young women who could not have been more impressive in our dealings over the past few weeks.

“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.”

Originally from Cobargo, NSW, Boyle made her name in rugby union by being the youngest player selected to play for the Wallaroos at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

In 2019, Boyle returned to rugby league with immediate impact, winning NRLW Rookie of the Year and debuting for the NSW Blues.

The 23-year-old front rower played a major role in the successful Broncos competition winning sides in both 2019 and 2020.

The daughter of former Canberra Raiders hard-man, David Boyle, Millie has inherited her father’s toughness as a respected competitor, winning reality TV series SAS Australia after completing the gruelling course.

“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.

“Everyone knows how passionate this town is about footy and all of the NRLW girls experienced that in round one of the season just finished.”

“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.” 

Born in Rockhampton, Queensland, Tamika Upton made her NRLW debut in 2019 with the Brisbane Broncos.

After two initial games on the wing, Upton moved to fullback for the Grand Final and won her first piece of silverware in Brisbane’s triumph over the St George Illawarra Dragons.

In 2019, the speedster had a season to remember, scoring five tries in four games and playing an influential role in the undefeated Broncos campaign, along with scoring two tries on debut for Queensland in a win over NSW.

A proud Baradha woman, Upton made her Indigenous All Stars debut in 2022, delivering an outstanding performance and setting up a try in an 18-8 victory for the Indigenous side.

“First and foremost I’m coming to Newcastle to get better,” said Upton.

“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.”

Upton and Boyle will relocate to Newcastle when preseason training commences for the upcoming 2022 NRLW season.