The Cronulla Sharks NRLW have announced the signing of ex-New Zealand rugby union forward Pia Tapsell.

A star in the 15-man code, which saw her make six appearances for the New Zealand Black Ferns, Tapsell has agreed to a two-year contract with the Sharks until the end of the 2025 season.

On the comeback trail from an ACL injury, Tapsell recently represented the Chiefs Manawa Super Rugby Aupiki season. However, before she enters the NRLW, she will ply her trade with the Western Force in the Super W before switching codes.

"Pia is the utmost professional, having been a full-time athlete for five years," head coach Tony Herman told Sharks Media.

"We think she's a great addition to our squad and we're excited to see what she'll bring."

Having kept a close on the NRLW in the past couple of seasons, the Melbourne-born forward is keen to get started in rugby league and attempt to make a name for herself in the competition.

"I've always been keen to play in it, so I thought I'd give it a try this year," she said.

"I really liked the Sharks' style of play on the field. Just chatting with the coaches, staff and some of the other girls in the team, it seems like a really nice environment.

"It looks like a team that's growing. I'm keen to grow with the team."

"I started playing union, which he always supported as well, but when I told him I was keen to give league a go he was pretty stoked!" she added.

The Sharks currently have five vacant spots for their 2024 roster.

2024 GAINS
Pia Tapsell (Western Force)
Chloe Saunders, Chloe Saunders, Fiona Jahnke, Harata Butler (Cowboys), Jazmon Tupou-Witchman, Kiana Takairangi, Maddie Studdon, Rhiannon Byers, Sereana Naitokatoka


2024 SQUAD

Andie Robinson, Casie Staples, Ellie Johnston, Emma Tonegato, Georgia Ravics, Holi Wheeler, Jada Taylor, Quincy Dodd, Talei Holmes, Tayla Preston, Teagan Dymock, Tiana Penitani, Vanessa Foliaki, Annessa Biddle, Brooke Anderson, Manilita Takapautolo, Chloe Saunders, Rhiannon Byers, Pia Tapsell

Likely Round 1 NRLW Team

1. Jada Taylor
2. Georgia Ravics
3. Tiana Penitani (c)
4. Annessa Biddle
5. Andie Robinson
6. Emma Tonegato
7. Tayla Preston
8. Ellie Johnston
9. Quincy Dodd
10. Tegan Dymock
11. Talei Holmes
12. Holli Wheeler
13. Brooke Anderson

15. Chloe Saunders
16. Vanessa Foliaki
17. Pia Tapsell

18. Casey Staples
19. Manilita Takapautolo
20. Rhiannon Byers