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20 stars for 2022 | Caitlan Johnston

Newcastle’s own Caitlan Johnston will be looking to continue to make her mark in 2022 as the inaugural signing for the newly-formed NRLW Knights.

At only 20 years old, her resume and star power has already proven she is more than capable of handling the game’s top level.

Previously earning high praise for her “workhorse” mentality from Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues centre and former Golden Boot winner Isabelle Kelly, Johnston’s rise has been remarkable.

Before the age of 18, the forward utility was part of Newcastle’s Tarsha Gale Cup team who made consecutive Grand Final appearances in 2018 and 2019, captaining the side in the latter.

It was also in 2019 when Johnston rose to prominence, representing the Indigenous All Stars in the first Women’s All Stars clash.

Then she earned a spot in the NSW U18s for a 24-4 win over Queensland with a try and Player of the Match honours. She also made her NRLW debut with the Sydney Roosters, and started at lock for the Prime Minister’s XIII – all in one season.

Having since made two more appearances for the Indigenous All Stars while continuing to develop in the classy Central Coast Roosters side in two seasons of the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership, the Windale junior jumped at the chance to return home and join the foundation NRLW Knights.

“I felt having come through the pathways here at the Knights, it was time to come home,” Johnston said when her signing was announced.

There is absolutely no doubt that the sky is the limit for Caitlan Johnston as she prepares for the upcoming season.

In 2022 she may be the player who can lead this Newcastle team, full of home-grown talent, to make history in their first year of NRLW competition.