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North Sydney Bears go on off-season signing frenzy

North Sydney Bears have embarked on a strong off-season recruitment and retention drive after announcing the signatures of several players in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup and Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership for 2022.

The Bears enjoyed a successful season in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup for 2021, finishing in fourth before the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their roster will be bolstered by Jerry Key, Tom Carr and Jesse Marschke who all re-signed for 2022.

Key featured in 13 games for the Bears in 2021, scoring one try in their Round 7 win over St George Illawarra Dragons. A hard-hitting defender, Key had a tackle efficiency of 96.7% and averaged 106 metres per game.

Carr finished the season as one of the top outside backs coming in as the fourth top try scorer with 10 tries from just nine games. His experience proved vital in getting the Bears out of their own end and he finished with an average of 116 metres per game, 22 tackle busts and nine linebreaks. 

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Starting the year alongside his brother Ben, Jesse Marschke was able to play off the bench as well as at hooker and five-eighth throughout the year. Once boom rookie Sam Walker moved up into the NRL side, Marschke was able to hold down the five-eighth position for their final seven games of the year.

Marschke finished the year with one try, six try assists, six linebreak assists and an impressive tackle efficiency of 90%.

The Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership squad will be bolstered by the signatures of Chloe Leaupepe, Courtney Tamati, Lacey Shields and Courtney Frankl.

Leaupepe was a key member of St Mary’s side in 2021 and has now made her way back to North Sydney, where she played in 2020.

Frankl is a powerful forward with a background in Rugby Union. She has previously played for the Brumbies, Rebels and Waratahs and was a part of the Bears squad in 2021.

The Bears have also announced that Nita Maynard, Mya Hill-Moana, Priscilla Younes, Tyla Gambell, Renee Targett, Kirra Dib, Jamilee Bright, Shenai Lendill and Tyra Boysen have all re-signed for 2022.

Joining them next year are new recruits Raecene and Page McGregor, Katrina Phippen, Vanessa Foliaki, Angelina Teakaraanga-Katoa, Mia Wood and Tara McGrath-West.