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Passing on knowledge to Lisa Fiaola players

True Blue Botille Vette-Welsh is returning to the elite levels of women’s Rugby League but along the way she’s enjoying a spot of coaching with the Wests Tigers Junior Representatives teams.

Vette-Welsh was a constant presence in the Westpac NSW Sky Blues for three years (2019-21) before tearing her ACL in 2022. She missed Origin that year and again in 2023.

She worked her way back to the 2023 NRLW season, which was held after the Origin series, with one of four new teams Wests Tigers.

The enforced lay-off allowed her to explore another facet of Rugby League - coaching.

“Last year when I was injured and not able to do much, I went in to help the younger girls,” Vette- Welsh told

“I’ve obviously been around some great coaches and all the information I’ve learned would be a waste if I couldn’t share it with others.

“I’m not full-time coaching with Lisa Fiaola (Under 17s) but I’m there twice a week. Sometimes when the main coaches don’t have a lot of time for one-on-ones, I can suggest ‘Hey girls, why don’t you try doing it like this?’

“I’m mainly with Lisa Fiaola but then I’ll go up and run Blue shirt for Tarsha Gale (Under 19s).”

Wests Tigers are going well in the Westpac Lisa Fiaola Cup, currently sitting third on the ladder with three wins from four rounds. They face another test in Round 5 this weekend when they take on undefeated ladder leaders, Central Coast Roosters.

The Wests Tigers are in ninth spot in Tarsha Gale Cup with just one win from four games.

While trying to progress the fortunes of the Under 17s and Under 19s, Vette-Welsh is also gearing up for a second Wests Tigers NRLW season at fullback with the competition starting in July.

“That’s the goal to stay in the NRLW but I have to work hard to earn my spot,” she said.

“Now that we’re in synch competitions with Harvey Norman (NSW Women’s Premiership), we can sort of bounce up and down between the two which is a very new concept for me.”

Not so new is returning to the rep scene, where she was a regular. In the past eight months since returning to Rugby League she was picked at five-eighth for the Prime Minister’s XIII last September and then at centre for the Maori All Stars earlier this month.

“It’s really cool to be back among the rep teams, among the elite kind of scenery.

“I’m grateful and blessed for that because I know I’m not where I want to be, but to have a foot in the door makes me want to work even harder.”

Botille Vette-Welsh at training with 2024 All Stars Maori. Photo: NRL Photos
Botille Vette-Welsh at training with 2024 All Stars Maori. Photo: NRL Photos

Vette-Welsh is part of Westpac NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder’s Pathways squad for the 2024 Origin series. Her versatility in the backline is an asset for a three-game series.

“Wherever I play…. I’m happy to be in the squad but there’s still a lot of work ahead of me.

“In 2023 my mantra was to get back to where I was, but I forgot that getting a whole new knee would be different to having any old injury.

“So last year was about getting back into Rugby League and this year is about getting back to where I should be.

“The knee has been pretty sweet. It’s about getting the lungs back into shape and moving a bit faster.”


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