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Newcastle halfback Jesse Southwell has claimed the Dally M NRLW Rookie of the Year Award for 2022 after a superb first season in the top grade for the Knights.

Still only 17 years of age, Southwell has been pivotal in the Knights’ on-field success this year, steering her team into Sunday’s Grand Final with just one defeat after the side went winless through the 2021 campaign earlier this year.

Averaging close to 100 metres per game with the ball in hand, the talented playmaker heads into Sunday’s decider ranked third in the competition for total kick metres and second in try assists, with five try involvements in her side’s past three games.

Southwell’s Knights teammate Makenzie Weale was named as a finalist for the award along with Dragons duo Andie Robinson and Tara McGrath-West.