Exclusive: Leeds Rhinos ready to make ambitious move for St Helens and England star

Aaron Bower
Shona Hoyle

Shona Hoyle in action for St Helens against Leeds at Wembley - Alamy

Leeds Rhinos are lining up an ambitious move to sign St Helens and England ace Shona Hoyle for the 2024 Women’s Super League season, Love Rugby League can reveal.

Prop Hoyle has been one of the mainstays of the Saints side since signing from Huddersfield Giants last season, targeted by head coach Lois Forsell and the Rhinos ahead of what would be a sizeable WSL transfer.

If the move does happen, it will be the second time inside 12 months that the Rhinos have struck to sign one of the Saints’ top talents.

Leeds signed England star Amy Hardcastle 12 months ago after convincing her to leave the Saints, and they now look set to do the same again, with Hoyle holding talks with the Rhinos about joining this season’s cup and Grand Finalists for next year. The 30-year-old is believed to be close to agreeing the switch.

Like Hardcastle, Hoyle hails from West Yorkshire. From Halifax, she is keen to return closer to her roots rather than commuting across the M62 to train and play for the Saints.

Hoyle – who started her career with Siddal aged 16 – has previously enjoyed success in Yorkshire with Bradford Bulls, winning the treble in 2017, and Castleford Tigers, winning the League Leaders’ Shield two years later.

The prop, who earlier in her career played for Featherstone Rovers, also enjoyed a stint with Huddersfield Giants before signing for St Helens last year.

A 17-time England international, Hoyle appeared at last year’s World Cup and made 16 appearances for Matty Smith’s side at club level this season, helping them lift the Challenge Cup with victory against Leeds in the historic first Wembley final for the women’s competition in August.

However, she now looks set to switch clubs and sign for the team who narrowly defeated the Saints in the WSL play-offs last month before going on to lose out to York Valkyrie in last weekend’s Grand Final.

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