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Black Ferns Sevens’ ‘smiling assassin’ Stacey Waaka signs with NRLW side

By Finn Morton
Black Ferns Sevens star Stacey Waaka.

Rugby World Cup-winning Black Fern and SVNS Series speedster Stacey Waaka will leave New Zealand Rugby later this year after inking a deal with NRLW powerhouse the Brisbane Broncos.


Waaka, 28, will follow in the footsteps of some of her fellow World Series-winning teammates by heading across the ditch to pursue an opportunity in rugby league.

Niall Guthrie, who is Sonny Bill Williams’ sister, played for the Gold Coast Titans last season and Tyla King donned St George Illawarra’s colours before returning to the SVNS Series in January.

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Waaka has put pen to paper with the Broncos but won’t officially link up with the Queensland-based rugby league side until after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about joining the Broncos family this season, because I know the success they’ve had in the past, but I’m also so thrilled about the new and exciting opportunity,” Waaka said in a statement.

“I will do everything in my power to be the best league I can be when the time comes.

“I know I’ll get the best support from this club during the year to help with the switch once I join the Broncos post-Olympics.

“I’ve watched this team with a lot of interest from afar, especially with my good mate Gayle (Broughton) in the squad who has excelled so highly since switching codes.


“She (Broughton) alongside other former rugby teammates have all inspired me to take up this new sport but I’m really looking forward to new friendships (and) connections, more personal growth on and off the pitch.”

The Black Ferns Sevens wing is a two-time Rugby Sevens World champion and has helped New Zealand win gold medals at both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

“It’s very exciting for someone of her calibre to join the ranks of the NRLW program. Her record speaks for itself. I’m looking forward to seeing what she’ll produce on a league field,” coach Scott Prince added.

“She’s the type of player that will prove that you can make the switch from union to league.

“She’ll make an impact with high-flying strong runs. She’s an excitement machine along the edge.


“They don’t call her the smiling assassin for nothing.”

Waaka didn’t take the field for the Black Ferns Sevens during their successful run to Cup glory in both Vancouver and Los Angeles over the past couple of weeks due to an injury.


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