Key to the City opens the doors to City Hall for the Newcastle Knights NRLW 2022 Premiers

04 Oct 2022

Hundreds of Knights fans lined King Street outside City Hall last night to celebrate the Newcastle Knights’ historic 2022 NRLW Premiership win.

Bringing home the trophy for the first time since the men’s side took out the 2001 NRL Premiership, the 24-woman squad finished grand final winners on Sunday with a 32-12 victory over the Parramatta Eels.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes hosted a civic reception at City Hall, congratulating the team and club officials on their efforts throughout the season. The team was also presented with a Key to the City in front of a huge crowd of adoring Knights supporters who lined King Street and Civic Park.

“These women are fantastic role models, showing women and girls everywhere that anything is possible, even in a sport like rugby league traditionally played by men,” Cr Nelmes said.

The Key to the City was accepted by team captain Millie Boyle, who, alongside teammate Caitlan Johnston, picked up Prop of the Year at the recent Dally M Awards, while halfback Jesse Southwell, at just 17 years of age, won the Rookie of the Year Award. Boyle and Johnston were also named alongside Tamika Upton and Yasmin Clydesdale in the Australian Jillaroos squad for the World Cup from 15 October to 22 November, although Boyle and Upton have since withdrawn due to work commitments and injury respectively.

Sharing the moment with co-captain Hannah Southwell, who ruptured her ACL in round 1 against the Brisbane Broncos, Boyle said the team had gone from strength to strength this season under the guidance of coach Ron Griffiths.

“On behalf of the entire team, I’d like to thank the Lord Mayor for opening the doors to City Hall to celebrate the team’s victory,” Boyle said.

“It means so much to the players, captains and coaches to have such strong support from Novocastrians, which has kept us buoyed throughout the season. It's wonderful to share this celebration with the city.”

Following a light-hearted challenge suggested by the Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Donna Davis, where the Lord Mayor of the losing team’s city had to wear the winner’s jersey to the next Council meeting, Cr Davis will be sporting the Knights jersey this month.