Castleford’s Georgia Roche will have her name engraved in history books as the first ever player to win the Woman of Steel award.
The 18-year-old was considered as an outsider for the award following the release of the shortlist which, included Leeds Rhinos captain Lois Forsell and Castleford’s top try scorer Tara Stanley.
Speaking after the awards, Roche said: I’m very overwhelmed, I didn’t expect this at all. It still hasn’t sunk in that I am the first ever woman of steel. As the season went on, I went from strength to strength but to be honest, I didn’t even expect to be on the shortlist.
“This has been the best season in my rugby career so far. The girls and the coaches are all amazing and I could not wish for a better base.”
In her first season for the Tigresses, Roche made her Women’s Super League debut, scored in the final of the Challenge Cup, represented Yorkshire in the 2018 Origin, reached he Super League semi-final, was selected for the England squad and now, she caps off the season by taking home the inaugural Woman of Steel trophy.
The loose forward joined Castleford following a spell with Dewsbury Moor Maroons; a proving ground for many of this season’s stars in the Women’s Super League.
The player progressed quickly and ended the 2018 campaign with 11 tries to her name; five behind team mate Tara Stanley.
Head coach Lindsay Anfield puts Roche’s achievements down to her professional attitude.
Anfield said: “‘I am extremely proud of Georgia’s award, she has been incredibly dedicated to improving her game this year.
“She had spent hours on the training field doing extras and has approached joining Castleford with such a professional attitude for such a young player. Clear proof that hard work and commitment pays off.”
Next for Roche is a potential international debut. The youngster will join the England team later in the month as they prepare to take on France on October 27.