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Kemp and Holyman extend until end of 2027 NRLW season

The Canberra Raiders are pleased to announce the contract extensions of Grace Kemp and Sophie Holyman, both signing long-term deals with the club.

Kemp and Holyman have both re-signed for an extra three years until the end of the 2027 NRLW season.

Holyman is only in her third season of rugby league while Kemp is in her second, both coming from rugby union backgrounds.

The pair have impressed in their short time in the game, with Holyman representing the Queensland Maroons in 2023 and Kemp making her Indigenous All Stars debut earlier this year.

Raiders NRLW coach Darrin Borthwick is excited to have Holyman and Kemp locked in for a further three seasons and to see them continue their rugby league journey.

“It’s terrific, Soph is a pleasure to coach. I feel she had a good season last year and her footy was good. I’m really excited to have her back,” Borthwick said.

“I know she’s got unfinished business, as has the team. I know she’s really keen to get back down here and I’m glad that she’s secured and she also knows what she’s doing for the next few years.”

“From where we started with Grace, convincing her to come over to Rugby League and signing an extension for 2024, to now extending her long-term it’s terrific.

“It’s terrific for the club, it’s great for our region. For some of the young girls coming through it’s a good clear message that you don’t have to leave the area to go and follow your dreams, there’s a club here that’s in the NRLW now and it’s a reality, anything can happen.

“They are both very good learners and I know both of them definitely want to get better as well. To have them secured here and know that they are in our system at this club is terrific.”

Kemp is excited to lock in her long-term future at the Raiders and looks forward to continuing her development in rugby league.

“I’m so excited. I think I found my home here as soon as I stepped foot into Raiders HQ. I think having a long-term contract, everything is paying off for not only myself but my family and everyone that has helped support me to where I am today,” Kemp said.

“I think personally for me it’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve been in sport from a very young age and I think to finally have a contract that I can say ‘I’m staying where I am, I’m sticking around at Raiders’.

Kemp: I’m just so grateful to be here for the next three years

“I think it’s just a huge deal, especially for female athletes now that can strive for those contracts, it just gives those younger girls something else to strive for as well. They are going to be supported when they are at this level and it’s a huge testament to the club and the support that’s around us here to actually support us in getting these contracts.”

Holyman says she can’t wait to return to Canberra and make the club her home for a further three seasons after 2024.

“Canberra became a lot more to me than just footy. I found a new home and a new family within the Raiders players, staff and community,” Holyman said.

“It instantly felt like home, so signing on until 2027 was an easy decision for me and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow the NRLW space in the capital.

“Bortho told me that I’d leave Canberra a better player than I came as and I felt like he taught me so much and I did that. I cannot wait to spend the next few years learning from him and continuing to grow my experience!”


Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.