Canberra Raiders re-sign NRLW coach, target new talent

Canberra have re-signed inaugural NRLW coach Darrin Borthwick for another three years and aim to become the go-to club for aspiring female rugby league players in the country.

The Raiders impressed in their first season in the league, finishing one win short of a finals berth in 2023 under Borthwick.

With the coach now committed until the end of 2027 and the club's female pathways bedded in, the Raiders don't want to simply make up the numbers.

"I feel very honoured and privileged to extend here," Borthwick said as his contract extension was announced on Tuesday.

"We're building a really good pathway here and I'm pretty excited for the next few years and bringing those younger girls through."

The Raiders have also locked in a host of experienced players long-term, including Queensland Maroons prop Sophie Holyman and co-captains Simaima Taufa and Zahara Temara. It puts the team in good stead with two months to go before their season kicks off.

"We want to go one better. Semi-finals for us would be terrific," Borthwick said.

Club CEO Don Furner said he was thrilled with Borthwick's re-signing and the stability it brought.

"When the girls are asking before they re-sign, 'is Darrin staying on', you know that you've got to keep the coach," Furner said.

"He was very popular with them, they came here to play under him and the fact they still want to play under him is a great vote of confidence.

"I know he's looking for a house to buy so hopefully he puts down his roots here."

As the players return for the 2024 season, they will be greeted by sparkling new facilities and U15s and U17s female development squads up and running.

Furner hopes the re-signing of coach Borthwick and the improved facilities will be a real drawcard for young talent ahead of the increased competition the Warriors and Bulldogs will bring when they enter the league in 2025.

"We want those girls in the country playing under-15s, under-17s to come to us, and not have to go to Wollongong or Sydney or Newcastle,"  Furner said.

"We've got the facilities, we've got the resources, so we've got to show them a pathway and they'll want to play for us."