They are two of the finest products the region has produced, so it's only fitting that Jillaroos stars Kezie Apps and Emma Tonegato will don the Illawarra jumper for the Steelers maiden NSW Women's Premiership season.
Both products of the Helensburgh Tigers, the star Dragons are two of most the decorated players to have donned an Australian Test jumper, both two-time World Cup winners and Dally M Medalists.
The one-two punch is a massive addition for coach Alicia-Kate Hawke just days after the club confirmed the signing of NRLW star Taliah Fuimaono.
"I'm excited to be part of this team, I haven't worn these colours before," Apps said.
"I can't wait to get out there and see how these young girls go and to be part of making history for the Illawarra. I know the Steelers is a massive pathway leading into the Dragons.
"You can see some of the juniors here that have been part of the system that are now able to progress into the Harvey Norman competition. Hopefully, I can also share some of my knowledge with them.
"I feel like we are going to be real contenders for those last few spots at the end of the season The harder we train now and harder we work the more chance we have at the end of the competition to see where we stand.
"I'd obviously love to win a premiership here and continue that through to the Dragons as well."
For Tonegato, the move into the NSW Premiership will continue a whirlwind 12 months since returning to the code after an Olympic gold-medal-winning career in Rugby Sevens.
"It's awesome to see such a great collection of local players come together for the inaugural Steelers women's team," Tonegato said.
"I'm really excited to be here. I just live 10 minutes down the road, so it is super easy and close. I've played a bit of footy with some of the girls now so its lovely to reconnect with them."
Hawke feels the addition of the marquee pair will have as big an impact off the field as it will on the park given their standing in the game.
"I'm pretty pumped to have both Kez and Emma on board, they are both super high-class players," Hawke said.
"What they are going to bring to the squad on and off the field is going to be invaluable. The other thing that I love is they are girls from our pathways."
Illawarra will open its maiden campaign as the fourth leg of a massive quadruple header at WIN Stadium on February 5, with the Steelers Harold Matthews, Tarsha Gale Cup and SG Ball sides all kicking off their seasons at the same venue.
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