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Rogan Learning the Ropes in Red, White and Blue

Young outside back Lily Rogan started playing rugby league to make up the numbers for her school team, now she’s on the cusp of making her NRLW debut.

In what has been a whirlwind three years for the emerging star, Rogan is now embracing life in the Tricolours as she learns to master her craft under some of the best players in the Women’s game. 

“I definitely didn’t think an NRLW opportunity would come this quickly. I didn’t even think I’d be playing rugby league a few years ago … I had to convince my dad to let me play tackle because I was playing league tag,” she explained.  

Lily Rogan is embracing the opportunities that come with featuring in the Roosters NRLW Top 24.
Lily Rogan is embracing the opportunities that come with featuring in the Roosters NRLW Top 24.

Climbing the ranks in the female pathway, Rogan featured as a development player for the Dragons in 2022 after guiding the Illawarra Steelers to the Tarsha Gale Finals Series at five-eighth.

Finding a home in the centres, the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs junior was named the 2023 Player of the Year for the Steelers in the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership competition – a remarkable feat considering the team boasted a number of International representatives. 

While assessing her options for the NRLW season, she turned to her friend and mentor, Australian Jillaroo and NSW Blues hooker Keeley Davis, who put her in contact with Roosters Head Coach John Strange. 

“I’ve always had so much respect for Keeley and looked up to her in a lot of ways, she’s an amazing player and she started playing quite young as well, which is good because I can talk to her about a lot of things,” Rogan said. 

She asked me to come along to a meeting she was having with Strangey.  We completed some video review, then he asked if I would like to be part of the team.

Lily Rogan On the meeting with John Strange that resulted in a 2023 NRLW contract.

With seven weeks of pre-season training now under her belt, Rogan is embracing the six-hour round trip from Sussex Inlet, reflecting on her learnings during the drive. 

“I’m used to the drive now … at first it was tough,” she said. 

“I really enjoy driving so it’s not too bad at all. I think it really helped driving Sussex to Wollongong four times a week, so adding another hour doesn’t really phase me. 

“The long drive gives me plenty of time to mentally replay what I’ve learnt during training and visualise how I’ll put it into action.

“My Aunty has a spare room in Coogee so sometimes when I’m exhausted and don’t feel like driving, I crash there.”

The young star enjoys meeting fans and giving back to the community.
The young star enjoys meeting fans and giving back to the community.

Rogan knows that the sacrifices she’s making with travel and family time is slowly paying dividends as she works towards her goal of debuting but in the meantime, she’s relishing in the process. 

“We’ve got such an awesome team this year and Strangey is an amazing coach,” she said. 

I’m learning so much from him, just how he does different things and how he explains what he’s talking about, I feel like I’m getting it more and more everyday.

Lily Rogan On John Strange's way of coaching.

“Both Issy [Kelly] and Jess [Sergis] have been really helpful, I’ve gone to them at different times to ask them about certain things. I’m a visual learner so it’s cool to watch old videos of them performing certain plays.  

“Strangey has spoken to me about playing fullback and in the back-row and Liv Kernick has really taken me under her wing to teach me everything she knows.  

“I’m super excited for the season to begin.” 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.