Dragons legend Jamie Soward moves into coaching women’s rugby league

Club legend Jamie Soward will coach the St. George-Illawarra Dragons’ NRLW team from next year.

The role will be Soward’s first head coaching position since hanging up the boots in 2016.

Kayo is your ticket to the best local and international sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

As part of his new appointment, Soward will also help to oversee the Dragons’ Female Academy. He will continue working with the men’s team as a kicking coach, having been appointed to that role at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

“I am very proud and excited to be the NRLW head coach for the Dragons in 2022,” Soward said on social media.

“Love being back in the Red V on a full-time capacity.”

Soward is set to replace Mat Head, also a former Dragons playmaker, who will serve as an assistant to NRL head coach Anthony Griffin from next year. Head had been due to take the reins of the Dragons’ NRLW side this year, before the season was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2021 NRLW season was due to commence in October, but has been pushed back to next year, meaning there will be two NRLW competitions in the 2022 calendar year.

The Dragons were one of four foundation NRLW sides. Picture: Joel Carrett / AAP
The Dragons were one of four foundation NRLW sides. Picture: Joel Carrett / AAP

“We are extremely pleased with the quality personnel joining the Dragons’ expanding football department,” Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said.

“These additions will all play crucial roles throughout the Dragons’ football structure, ensuring a stronger connection between the NRL and NRLW programs, the NSWRL competitions we compete in and our junior representative pathways.

“The Dragons’ dedication to our male and female academies and our vast catchment area will continue with the further allocation of resources toward our development programs.”

Soward’s idiosyncratic goalkicking preparation, his ability to come up with clutch plays and his red-and-white headgear became synonymous with the Dragons during his seven seasons at the club.

He played five-eighth in the Dragons’ only premiership win since its merger with Illawarra in 1999.