Rugby league: Tyla Nathan-Wong poised to become dual international, earns Kiwi Ferns call-up after first NRLW season

Tyla Nathan-Wong is in line to become a dual international in her first season playing rugby league, named as one of 12 new players in the Kiwi Ferns' squad for the Pacific Championship.  

The 29-year-old was released from her New Zealand Rugby contract earlier this year, trading the World Sevens Series for the NRLW to sign with St George-Illawarra Dragons.  

And as Kiwi Ferns coach Ricky Henry named his side to face Australia and Tonga, Nathan-Wong's name was the standout among the newcomers.  

In her first year in the NRLW, Nathan-Wong played nine games for the Dragons, scoring three tries and assisting five more as her side finished seventh on the latter, missing out on a finals spot by six points.

Playing at five-eighth, Nathan-Wong combined with fellow Kiwi Fern Raecene McGregor at halfback, with the pair in line to continue their pairing at test level.  

Nathan-Wong previously represented New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, winning gold as part of the all-conquering Black Ferns Sevens team. 

Elsewhere, a further 10 players have received their maiden call-ups.  

Fellow Dragon Angelina Teakaraanga-Katoa has been included for the first time, as are Cronulla Sharks duo Anessa Biddle and Brooke Anderson.  

Wests Tigers contribute two new faces in the shape of Najvada George and Leianna Tufuga, Canberra Raiders two in Cheylle Robins-Reti and Ashleigh Quinlan,   

Paramatta Eels' Capri Paekau, Brisbane Broncos' Jasmine Fogavini, Newcastle Knights' Tiana Davison and Sydney Roosters' Amelia Pasikala are fellow first-timers.   

Kiwi Ferns squad: Abigail Roache, Amelia Pasikala, Angelina Teakaraanga-Katoa, Annessa Biddle, Apii Nicholls, Ashleigh Quinlan, Brooke Anderson, Capri Paekau, Cheyelle Robins-Reti, Georgia Hale, Jasmine Fogavini, Laishon Albert Jones, Leianne Tufuga, Mele Hufanga, Mya Hill-Moana, Najvada George, Otesa Pule, Raecene McGregor, Shanice Parker, Tiana Davison, Tyla Nathan-Wong