Signing adds firepower to Wests Tigers NRLW forward pack

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Wests Tigers have boosted their NRLW forward firepower with the signing of Amelia Huakau on a two-year deal.

The recently married 28-year-old (née Mafi) former Parramatta Eels forward, says she’s excited to join Wests Tigers ahead of the club’s second season in the Telstra Women’s Premiership.

Huakau made her NRLW debut for the Roosters in 2020 and started in all nine games for the Eels last season.

She made her international debut in 2022 and again played for Tonga at last year’s end-of-season Pacific Championships, pictured above with the ball.

Huakau began her rugby league journey as a 20-year-old in South Auckland before relocating to Sydney in 2018 where she played in the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership for Wentworthville Magpies.

“I’m just speechless to be honest, this place is just amazing,” she said after being shown around the Wests Tigers facilities at Concord.

 “Everything is so professional and much more advanced than other clubs I have played for.

“I know a few of the girls like Sarah [Togatuki] and Bo [Vette-Welsh] from my time at the Roosters, and everyone has been so welcoming.”

Amelia says Wests Tigers style of play was also a big attraction for her.

“I love the way last year’s team had a front-foot style of attack and I look forward to improving my game under Brett [Kimmorley] and alongside some of the best forwards in the women’s game.”

Head coach Kimmorley believes Huakau will add to an already strong pack next season.

“She was very good in what was a difficult campaign last season at her former club,” Kimmorley said.

“I know Amelia will only get better as a player and I really look forward to seeing her game develop over the next couple of seasons with us.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Amelia and her family to Wests Tigers.”

Wests Tigers 2024 NRLW squad: Amelia Huakau, Botille Vette-Welsh, Brooke Talataina, Christian Pio, Claudia Nielsen, Ebony Prior, Eliza Siilata, Emily Curtain, Harmony Crichton, Imogen Gobran, Jessica Kennedy, Kezie Apps, Leianne Tufuga, Losana Lutu, Najvada George, Natasha Penitani, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale, Rikeya Horne, Salma Nour, Sarah Togatuki, Sophie Curtain, Tess Staines, Tiana Lee-Thorne.

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