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Johnston named Players' Player for NSW Sky Blues

One of four debutants from the winning Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues, Caitlan Johnston, has been voted ‘Players’ Player’ by her peers after her starring performance off the bench.

She will be presented with the Origin game ball at the Lisa Fiaola Cup gala day at St Marys Leagues Stadium next week, where she is coaching one of the Under 16s girls sides.

In two stints for a total of 38 minutes last Friday night, Johnston ran for 99 metres, made six tackle-busts, two line-breaks, completed 10 tackles with no misses, and had the quickest play-the-ball of anyone on the GIO Stadium field – 3.09sec.

Although teammate Isabelle Kelly was justifiably voted ‘Player of the Match’ and took home the Nellie Doherty Medal, Johnston’s efforts struck a real chord with her fellow NSW players.

The 21 year-old from the Newcastle Knights NRLW team has been in Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder’s sights for some time; back when she helped the NSW Under 18s Origin side win in 2019.

Her stunning performance for the Indigenous All Stars in February, which was her fourth consecutive appearance in that representative jersey, earmarked her for further honours this season.

In the 20-14 win over Queensland for the 2022 Ampol State of Origin shield, Johnston showed she was not to be messed with by running full steam into the defence bringing roars from the crowd every time.

“She was outstanding,” Hilder said today.

“She did everything I asked her as one of my interchange players.

“Chiefly among those she brought energy and kept taking us forward.

“I spoke to her about how important her role was when she got onto the field and she stuck to those instructions to a tee.”

Johnston also plays for Newcastle in the NSWRL’s Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership, helping the Knights to third spot on the ladder currently with four wins from seven games.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.