Women’s Super League champions Leeds have bolstered their ranks with the addition of England star Amy Hardcastle from rivals St Helens.
The 33-year-old powerhouse has scored 51 tries in 28 appearances for St Helens since she arrived from Bradford in 2020.
Hardcastle, who hails from Halifax, was a standout player for England in last year’s World Cup. She returns to Yorkshire after committing to the Rhinos for the 2023 campaign.
Hardcastle said: “It’s exciting to be joining the Rhinos and I am looking forward to the new challenge.
“After the World Cup, I started looking at my options and thinking about what I wanted to do and considered did I want to stay in the game, did I want to progress and I had to think about what would benefit myself and my family.
“Being closer to home was a factor for me and I still want to play at the best level that I possibly can, with a quality side as well. Leeds were at the top of the options and I approached Lois (Forsell, head coach) and I asked her what her thoughts were and it went from there.
“It’s a great club and what they are doing for the women’s team is exciting and seeing where the club is going”
“I have spoken to a lot of the girls when I have been in England training and they all have positive things to say about Leeds, so I am so grateful that I have been given this opportunity to play for another club and make some more memories and learn as well as making it easier for my family.
“I enjoyed my time at St Helens, it’s a great club and I can’t thank the staff and fans enough for how they helped with my journey and welcomed me in and I leave with many happy memories.”
Lois Forsell delighted to welcome Amy Hardcastle to Headingley
Hardcastle started her career with Bradford and was part of the treble winning Bulls side in 2017, alongside her Rhinos coach Lois Forsell.
Rhinos coach Lois Forsell added: “Amy is a quality player with plenty of experience playing at the highest level.
“She is the only player to have won the treble twice, which is a remarkable achievement, and we know she has ambitions to win more.
“She is an athletic player who will be a great addition to our squad and I am looking forward to working with her again.”
Hardcastle has represented England in the last three World Cups.