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Raiders complete Top 24 NRLW squad

The Canberra Raiders are pleased to announce the signings of young guns Jaida Faleono, Tatiana Finau and Relna Wuruki-Hosea for the 2024 season.

All three players are exciting young prospects entering the NRLW for the first time and complete the Raiders Top 24 squad for 2024.

Raiders NRLW coach Darrin Borthwick is excited to welcome the trio to the club and see them get their first taste of the NRLW competition. 

“Jaida came through our Tarsha Gale system, made the jump to come down and play in our 19s. She’s still a very young girl, but someone who has got a lot of promise. She’ll definitely boost up our middles a bit,” Borthwick said.

“I’m looking forward to getting the best out of her and I think she’ll add a lot to our middles and will put a lot of pressure on players to perform week in, week out. She’s one that I’m really looking to seeing how she adapts to NRLW and what she adds to our team.

“Tatiana comes to us highly regarded. She’s come through the Tarsha Gale system at another club and excelled at that club and played a bit of representative football. I’m really excited that she’s taken up the opportunity to come here.

“She’s a good player, she’s quite handy. She’s a goal kicker, she’s going to offer a different element to our team as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing Tatiana’s next step into the NRLW.

“Relna’s story is very similar to the Emma Barnes story. I went up to the Nationals and left some spots in our roster for that reason. When someone stands out in front of you, I didn’t want to miss that opportunity and hold off too long so I jumped on that one pretty quickly.

“Relna is relatively young as well but comes across a bit older, very mature type of player. I’m very, very excited to see what she’s going to add to our team.

“She’s got good speed, good agility and good hands. She’s a little powerhouse and I can’t wait to get to work with her. She’s going to add a lot of pressure to the rest of our squad. I think pressure is good and will only bring out the best in everyone.”

Faleono made the move to Canberra earlier this year from the Gold Coast to be part of the Raiders Tarsha Gale Cup squad before joining the Raiders NRLW Top 24 squad.

The 18-year-old has a wealth of experience despite her age, playing league, union and sevens at high levels, including previously captaining the Gold Coast Titans Academy and being part of the Aussie Sevens development squad.

Jaida Faleono
Jaida Faleono

Faleono said that she is excited to join the Raiders NRLW squad and is grateful for the opportunity.

“I’m very thankful for Darrin and what he’s offered me. I’ve got a very good opportunity and these opportunities don’t come around very often so I’m not going to take it for granted. I’m going to work as hard as I can to prove I got this opportunity for a reason,” Faleono said.  

“My goals are just to improve as a player, take on as much feedback as I can, work on everything that I can to be the best player that I can be.”

Finau joins the Raiders after being part of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Tarsha Gale Cup and Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership sides in 2023.

Tatiana Finau
Tatiana Finau

Hailing from Auckland, the 20-year-old can’t wait to be part of a NRLW program for the first time.

“I’m super excited and grateful for the opportunity, I can’t wait to rip in,” Finau said.

“I’m just super excited to learn more and be around the girls that have been playing for years.”

Wuruki-Hosea grew up on Badu Island in the Torres Strait before moving to Brisbane to do her high school studies.  

The 18-year-old recently impressed for the Brisbane Tigers in Queensland’s Harvey Norman Under 19 competition, where she was awarded the ‘weapon of the year’. Wuruki-Hosea has also been named in the Queensland Under 19 emerging squad for their Origin match in June.

Relna Wuruki-Hosea
Relna Wuruki-Hosea

She was also part of the Queensland Sapphires team that took part in the recent Women’s National Championships on the Gold Coast, scoring five tries during the tournament.

Wuruki-Hosea said she’s very grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to making the move to Canberra for the season.

“I’m so excited. It means so much to me. It feels like all the hard work and sacrifices I made to just continue footy, down here without family or anything, has paid off. It’s going to mean a lot to my family and my home. My family is so proud,” Wuruki-Hosea said.

“I feel like with some of the girls and boys from further up north, with me coming into the NRLW system it will just show them that whatever they want to do they can, it’s possible if you put your mind to it and focus on it. It’s also hard work. I feel like it will mean a lot to the Torres Strait.”

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.