St George Illawarra has moved quickly to secure the long-term services of stand-out NRLW debutants Ella Koster and Alexis Tauaneai on multi-year deals.
Still just teenagers, the pair debuted in the NRLW in round one this season as part of a new-look Dragons outfit and proved shining lights in a testing third campaign for coach Jamie Soward.
The Shellharbour Stingrays alum's versatility that saw her play in the middle, on the edge and in the centres proved a Godsend for Soward as he battled a hefty injury toll.
After locking the dual-code star down until the end of 2025, Soward's willing to anoint Koster a future club skipper should she continue on her current trajectory.
"Ella had such a breakout season and turned into one of the leaders within the group at such a young age," Soward said.
"Her work ethic and competitive side are what I love. I'm very proud and honoured that she has chosen our club. She will be a club captain one day, I have no doubt."
Tauaneai's season was cruelly cut short by an ugly hip-drop tackle in her seventh outing after debuting in round one after turning down a NSW Under 19s jersey to pledge her allegiance to her native New Zealand.
Without suffering the injury, the 19-year-old may well have been debuting for the Kiwi Ferns in the upcoming Test window after averaging a whopping 148 run metres and 30 tackles a game.
"Alexis is such a unique talent that has all the skills to be the best middle in the world," Soward said.
"She moves with ease and sees the game like she's been around for years. I'm so excited she has chosen the Dragons to continue her journey in the NRLW.
"I'm proud that her and her family are all a part of the Dragons, we love sharing this experience with them."
It continues a post-season signing spree for Soward, who's also locked in the future of star fullback Teagan Berry, who was remarkably snubbed by Jillaroos selectors this week.
Kiwi Ferns and Dragons captain Raecene McGregor will also call Wollongong home for the next two years after signing her own contract extension.
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