Fields to Force: Jones and Wigley Highlight Talent of Local Players

Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 7:53 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

Round 1 of Buildcorp Super Rugby Women's kicks off this weekend, with the Western Force facing off against Melbourne Rebels in a double header at HBF Park. 

Western Australia is well represented within the Western Force’s women’s side, with a large number of players listed in the squad having got their start in the local game. 

Notably in this catalogue of local players are young guns Aiysha Wigley and Tamika Jones, who will be in the Starting XV for this season’s first round. Having earned their stripes playing in the local junior game, both players debuted in the Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade with Wanneroo Rugby Club, before signing with the Western Force. 


Tamika Jones got her start in the Western Australian rugby community at Joondalup Brothers, in their Viva 7s (now Touch 7s) team at age 12, at the insistence of her best friend. She enjoyed the game so much that she stuck around and hasn’t looked back since.  

“I was like, you know what, I’ll give it a go, so I went down and played in the 7s team. I had my first game, and it was so much fun, so I haven’t looked back since.” 

She played her first year of rugby in the Joondalup Sisters U14s team, before moving to Nedlands Rugby Club the following year to play in their U16s team. In 2018, she got into the U17s National Championships team that played in Queensland, where her team came third in their second year.  In 2020, Tamika made her senior debut in the Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade for Wanneroo and played 7s for the UWA women’s team. 

Making her debut at the Western Force in 2021 before COVID-19 shut the season short, Jones had a stellar 2022 season, which saw her receive a call-up to the Wallaroos. 

“I was a bit nervous when I received the call-up, but that was pretty cool.” 

The same season, she also won the Force’s Rebecca Clough medal and Super W Members’ MVP award.  

The following season, in 2023, Jones found herself on the sidelines after suffering a broken leg at the Next Generations 7s tournament in Queensland. 

“2024 is my comeback season,” Tamika remarked. “I’ve had my first game, against Tokyo, and it’s been good since then!"

Going into the 2024 Super W season, Tamika is looking forward to working with her new teammates, and the opportunity this provides. 

“We have a lot of new girls who have come from overseas and interstate, so it’s really cool to see different combinations and how different people play. Working with that, it's been really cool to see how we come together as a team.” 


Aiysha Wigley made her debut for Western Force in 2020. First starting the sport in high school, Aiysha joined the sport to have some fun and play with her friends. She started in a one weekend competition with Joondalup Brothers, before playing for Wests Scarborough U17s the following year in their 7s competition.  

The next season she moved up to the women’s competition, playing at Wanneroo Rugby Club, where she’s been for the past 5 years. The fullback was the 2023 Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade Sue Roberts Trophy recipient, and the season’s top point scorer with 88 points. Since making her Western Force debut in 2020, Wigley has yet to miss a Super W game. 

“The more I played rugby, the more I enjoyed it, and the more I wanted to keep going and keep pursuing it,” Aiysha said. “It’s really great to have the opportunity to play with Western Force now, and be professional, and get paid for something I’d do for free, just because I love it.” 

Coming into the 2024 Super W season, Aiysha is feeling confident about the Western Force’s chances. 

“I’m really excited for this season! I think it’s one of the best teams we’ve had going into a season, and the girls are all really on a high, especially after the preseason trials.” 

With the women’s game growing massively in the local community, so too does the professional game, giving the Western Force Women greater performance opportunities. Their preseason saw four trial matches for the first time, including a 77-0 win over Queensland Country last weekend, a 38-10 win over Melbourne Rebels, and the opportunity to play against Japanese champions, Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix. 

“For us, the opportunity to have trial games was really good. In previous seasons we’ve never had the opportunity to play trial matches, or it’s just been one, so the opportunity to have four trial matches going into a competition is exactly what we need. All the girls are on a good vibe at the moment, so I’m excited going into Round 1 this week." 


For Aiysha, the best thing about rugby is the continuous opportunities it brings – in learning, in friendship, in travel.  

“One of my favourite things about rugby is learning. You’re always learning, and there’s always something new to learn. You’re always learning a new skill, or tactical things, so on that side of things it’s really interesting.  

“I also love being able to travel with my friends. You get to see many places while playing, which is cool too.  

“Most of my friends I have now are through rugby, because you get to see them at training 3 or 4 times a week, you see them all the time. You’re always with them, and I think that is a really special part about rugby.” 

Similarly, the friendships Tamika has made throughout her rugby career are sporting highlights. 

“The memories you make, and the friends, are honestly the best part of the sport. They’re just lifelong friendships. I don’t think I’d have the friends that I have if I didn’t play this sport. The friends and the memories you make along the way are what I love about it.” 


As for what advice Aiysha and Tamika would give to young girls who want to play rugby? Just give the game a go! 

“Just give it a go, you never know until you try,” Tamika said. “Just believe in yourself! You never know what can happen.” 

“I would just say have confidence in yourself, don’t be scared. I remember when I first started playing rugby, I was so nervous to even rock up to training, I didn’t really want to play because I was so scared,” Aiysha shared. 

“So, I think just have confidence in yourself, just come down, have fun. Rugby is such a great environment to just come and try, and everyone in the community is so welcoming. Just give it a go, you’ll never know if you don’t try!” 


The Western Force’s Super W team will play Melbourne Rebels this Friday at 4.30pm at HBF Park. This game will be a double header with the Western Force men’s side, who kick off at 7.00pm against Moana Pasifika.  


RugbyWA’s 2024 Fortescue Premier Grade Women’s season kicks off on May 11. For fixtures, visit 


To become the next Tamika Jones or Aiysha Wigley, visit or contact