NRL holiday pictures: proposals, pregnancy showers and matching tattoos

From matching tattoos to European adventures, Bali breaks to ticking off US sports bucket list items, these NRL and NRLW stars have certainly been enjoying their offseason.

From European adventures to parties, pregnancies, engagements and weddings, NRL stars made full use of their first unbridled off-season in three years.

With Covid restrictions lifted and a marathon season stretched well into November thanks to the World Cup, players flocked to planes to enjoy their summer breaks.

Fears of off-season NRL atrocities appeared to have evaporated as players opted to travel and catch up on events postponed by Covid.

Here’s what they were up to:


Matt Burton and his girlfriend Zoe Warwick used the break after Australia’s World Cup victory to enjoy a fast-paced tour of Europe. The couple visited Paris, took a gondola ride in Venice, visited the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum in Rome before stopping in Dubai on the way home.


It was a massive European tour for two of NRLW’s biggest stars. Jess Sergis and Kezie Apps won the World Cup in England before embarking on a monster trip that included stops in London, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Prague and Amsterdam and may have included the couple getting matching margarita tattoos.

Sergis also made time to go skiing in Canada.


Before trading Concord for Newcastle, Jackson Hastings took a detour via Los Angeles. With his English girlfriend Amelia, Hastings watched an LA Rams NFL game and posed in front of the Hollywood sign before returning home to take on a new challenge with the Knights.


Newcastle property master Daniel Saifiti and his partner Mikenzie McManus have announced they are expecting a boy in 2023. “Our dreams have come true. We are so incredibly grateful and excited to meet you little man,” McManus wrote on Instagram.


After three failed attempts due to Covid, Newcastle center Dane Gagai and his fiancee Kelly Turner have finally tied the knot. Accompanied by their sons Cruz and Dante, the couple celebrated an emotional ceremony in Byron Bay in front of family, friends and a host of footballers, which included an emotional welcome to the country by local Indigenous Elder Brian Kelly.


Talk about a close family. As if winning two consecutive premierships wasn’t enough, Ivan and Nathan Cleary headed to Bali for a family vacation. With mother Rebecca, sisters Indi and Milaya and brother Jett, the Clearys headed to Indonesia to find some sun and relaxation. There they met former Panthers and Catalans winger Taylan May, who was holidaying in Europe with Nathan and is a close family friend.

Kurt Capewell

Broncos star Kurt Capewell stayed in Queensland on his break, went fishing in Burketown up north and drove home to Charleville where he attended his old school.

“Great for a morning with the kids at St Mary’s Charleville. It’s been a while since I’ve graced these walls with my academic skills, but not too much has changed since my college days. Thanks to all the teachers and staff for being so accommodating at short notice!” he posted.


It’s been a big off-season for North Queensland full-back Scott Drinkwater. First he proposed to his partner Oshah in Malibu, shortly after the engagement, the high school sweethearts announced that they were expecting their first child in April. “Mum, Dad and Baby Drinkwater are coming in April 2023,” he wrote on Instagram.

Caption: Scott Drinkwater and his fiancee Oshah Ianson get engaged in Maui.


After clinching a Premiership win with Penrith, Jaeman Salmon flew to Guatemala where, in a unique moment, he and his friends hiked up Acatenango and Fuego volcano, which was active at the time.


Fresh from Australia’s World Cup win, Penrith co-captain Isaah Yeo put the question to his longtime partner Ashleigh Camenzuli. The couple were vacationing in Grindelwald, Switzerland, with their daughter, Haven Autumn, when Yeo proposed to her. They also visited Rome, Paris and London.


It seems like Cronulla teammates Blayke Brailey, Connor Tracey and Teig Wilton can’t get enough of each other throughout the season. The trio traveled to the United States, where they visited Yosemite National Park and watched the University of Southern California Trojans at a college football game. Wilton and Brailey also made a trip to New York City, while Tracey extended his visit to Central America, checking off Panama, Mexico and Guatemala.


You would have thought that winning a World Cup would be at the top of your off-season wish list. But not for striker Cameron Munster, who was enjoying his off-season break in Italy as he got on one knee and proposed to his longtime partner Bianca McMahon. The couple captured the moment on idyllic Lake Como alongside their son Jaxon Kian on Instagram, captioning it “Leaving Italy with Extra Bagage. Hello fiancé.”


What a year for Eel’s sensation Will Penisini. A grand final with Parramatta followed by representing Tonga at the World Cup. The young center then used its stay in the northern hemisphere to travel through Europe to see the sights before Christmas.

Ryan Matterson

Parramatta grand final striker Ryan Matterson didn’t travel too far from home compared to some of his NRL stars, opting instead to spend some time in the Whitsundays sun with his mum. Matterson snorkeled, enjoyed boating and a bit of beach soccer.


The Manly full-back split his off-season into two. First, he and his partner Kristi Wilkinson toured Europe, spending time on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, the Swiss Alps, Paris where they climbed the Eiffel Tower and admired some art at the Louvre, and made a detour to London and the All England Club at Wimbledon.

A few weeks into his European adventure, Trbojevic was spotted in Bali enjoying some time off before returning to Sydney, where he is focusing on restoring Manly’s pride under new coach Anthony Seibold.


It’s been a rough couple of years on the injury front for Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker. But that didn’t stop him and his wife Brittany from welcoming their second child, Tate James Croker, just before the couple celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. “Rory is delighted to have his little brother, Tate James Croker, born 9/27/22. Mom and baby are fine,” Croker wrote.


The Raiders forward was an unfortunate omission in the Kangaroos’ World Cup squad but certainly didn’t squander his off-season and flew to the United States for a time. Starting on the West Coast, Young watched a Lakers game at LA’s Stadium, rode roller coasters at Six Flags and hung out at the Santa Monica Pier before heading to Las Vegas, where he posed with an AK-47 a shooting range. From there, Young and his crew made their way east, visiting New York before heading to Miami to watch a Heat NBA game.


He was spotted in a red jersey instead of the lime green one, but fear not, Raiders fans. Nick Cotric was embracing his Serbian heritage in the off-season when the Canberra winger traveled to Europe where he teamed up with Red Star Belgrade rugby league team and got a private tour of Crvena Zvezda Stadium, where he put on the red jersey.


It’s been a big off-season for Sydney Roosters star James Tedesco. It started with becoming world champion captain of the kangaroos in England and continued with a tour of Europe with his fiancée Maria. Teddy then flew to Las Vegas for his dollar party before he and Maria tied the knot in the Hunter Valley in front of family and friends, including teammates from the Roosters and best man Mitchell Moses. Tedesco also celebrated his 30th birthday on January 8 before leaving for Fiji for the couple’s honeymoon.


Fresh off helping the Jillaroos to their Women’s World Cup win in the cool north of England, the superstar center flew to some sun and sand in December and titled her entry ‘Coconuts for Bali’.


Just weeks after playing to a packed house at the opening of the Sydney Roosters’ new home at Allianz Stadium, Nat Butcher and his wife Harmony were just two faces in the crowd at SoFi Stadium as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the LA Rams . He met Brian Allen, the Rams’ offensive lineman. The couple also visited New York and Hawaii during their stay in the United States.


Though Dragons center Zac Lomax and his friend, Australian swimmer Tahlia Thornton, were just one of three players to attend St. George Illawarra’s season-ending presentation night, they still managed to make two short trips during the offseason. They first flew to Hawaii in September before taking time off to holiday in Western Australia and visit Perth and Rottnest Island over the Christmas break.


St. George Illawarra Dragons center Moses Suli got on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend Georgina Tomasi over Christmas. Suli had been in England with Tonga for their World Cup campaign.


Former Eels teammates Isaiah Papali’I and Dylan Brown met in Switzerland after New Zealand’s World Cup campaign. Papali’i had toured Europe with his girlfriend, netballer Elle Temu, hitting the sights in Italy before venturing into the Swiss Alps. Temu captioned the post, quoting Papali’i: “Do you think there’s another Samoan up here?”


It wasn’t hard to figure out where Latrell Mitchell wanted to go after the season. The South Sydney superstar headed straight to his happy spot, his farm near Taree, to be with his family, reconnect with the country, go fishing and do some farm chores.


South Sydney captain Cameron Murray took advantage of a good break after Australia’s World Cup season. Murray met up with his girlfriend Miranda Cross and made his way across Europe, enjoying hot springs and cooking classes in Tuscany, visiting the Moulin Rouge in Paris and visiting the Colosseum in Rome. Just last week he visited Latrell Mitchell at his farm and got his hands dirty.

Originally posted as NRL Holiday Pictures: Proposals, Maternity Parties and Matching Tattoos NRL holiday pictures: proposals, pregnancy showers and matching tattoos

Ryan Sederquist

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