The Gold Coast Titans have announced NRL Integrity Unit investigator Karyn Murphy as the new coach of the NRLW side.
Ms Murphy will take on the role of Director of Female Rugby League, which will see her not only coach the women’s side but also focus year-round on developing the women’s game within the catchment from Logan to Lismore.
It’s also been confirmed former Melbourne Storm premiership winning player and Origin legend Matt Geyer will join Murphy’s coaching staff for the 2022 season.
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Murphy has a previous playing career that spanned 15 years and included four World Cup campaigns, 27 games for Australia and 20 games for Queensland.
She also spent seven years as the Senior Investigator for the NRL’s Integrity Unit.
Titans CEO Steve Mitchell says the club identified the need to devote a full-time senior management and coaching resource to grow and advance the women’s game in our region.
“Karyn is an icon of our game and someone who is highly respected for what she has achieved and we are thrilled that she will be joining us,” Mitchell said.
“As the only female head coach in NRLW competition, we believe Karyn’s work in this space will provide will inspire new and developing female coaches within the game.
“Karyn will work with our NRLW players when they return to the state league and will support their respective BMD Premiership clubs.
“Having Karyn dedicated full-time to our programs will allow us to grow both our high performance and pathway programs, while also allowing her the time to build strong relationships with our players, our elite youth and their families.
“Karyn will help co-ordinate and deliver Future Female Titans Academies, the Titans School Girl Cup and work with our rugby league schools of excellence which is crucial in ensuring our pathway programs allow local juniors to progress to NRLW level.”
The Gold Coast Titans entered the NRLW competition this season, making the semi-finals in their inaugural campaign.
The season also saw the Titans claim victory over the Brisbane Broncos in their first Queensland derby clash.
In announcing Murphy’s appointment, Mitchell also acknowledged the work done by outgoing coach Jamie Feeney and his staff.
“To be able to recruit a squad of the calibre we have and to be able to contest the NRLW finals in our inaugural season is credit to Jamie,” Mitchell said.
“Jamie will go leaves a legacy as the clubs inaugural NRLW coach and I want to thank him for his contribution to the organisation.
“He is passionate about the women’s game and with a World Cup approaching, he will continue to focus on his role with the Jillaroos and advocate for women in rugby league.
“Ultimately as a club, we decided that to be serious about providing the best pathway for young female footballers, we needed to invest in making this role full-time.”
Feeney says he hopes what has been built in the foundation year will help the program grow to greater success.
“With a second season this year and my involvement with the Jillaroos and a World Cup at the end of the year, I’m now looking to spend more time with my young family and I’ll focus on my role as a teacher and coach with Marsden State High School,” he said.
“I’ll be watching the 2022 season closely to make sure we select the best squad of players to head to England in October to help us defend our World Cup title.
“I want to thank the Titans Legion and the wider community for their support and I hope to get along to games to support the team in the future.”