Apii Nicholls-Pualau, Kimiora Nati and Ngatokotoru Arakua have all been named as marquee players for the competition, which kicks off in September.
The 25-year-old Nicholls-Pualau, who initially represented New Zealand in rugby sevens, played for the Kiwi Ferns at the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup.
She had only been playing rugby league for two years prior to the World Cup, where she captained the Kiwi Ferns against Canada.
The 29-year-old Nati also represented New Zealand at the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup, while Arakua made her debut in the 2017 Anzac Test against the Jillaroos before playing in the World Cup. She also made her nines debut at the 2017 NRL Auckland Nines.
Alongside others in the 20-member squad, the three Kukis were identified from the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Kiwi Ferns squad and will be considered as ‘marquee’ or elite players in selections by the four NRL teams included in the competition.
All other New Zealand and Australian players that aren’t identified as marquee will be contracted as free agents.