New Leeds signings set for debuts in Women’s Super League opener 

Josh McAllister
Amy Hardcastle, Leeds Rhinos, Women's Super League. SWpix

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Six players could all make their Leeds Rhinos debuts in the Women’s Super League opener against York Valkyrie at Headingley Stadium.

England international Amy Hardcastle, 34, has been included in Lois Forsell’s squad. 

The utility joined ahead of the 2023 campaign from rivals St Helens, where she scored 51 tries in 28 appearances after arriving from Bradford in 2020. 

New Zealand international Georgia Hale, who represented the Kiwi Ferns at the delayed 2021 World Cup in England, made the switch from Gold Coast Titans in the NRLW for 2023. 

The loose forward made her international debut aged just 19, and began her professional career with New Zealand Warriors in the inaugural NRLW season in 2018.

Upon her arrival, Hale, who is the partner of men’s first-team player Sam Lisone, said: “The success within the club is great to see and especially within the women’s space and I am exited to be part of that and to keep building with what they have created and just to add to some of my learnings along the way.”

Trio Bethan Dainton, Izzy Northrop and Kaiya Glynn could also all make their debuts after being named for the Women’s Super League opener, live on Sky Sports, as part of historic double-header at Headingley Stadium.

Rohan Smith’s Rhinos take on Huddersfield in the final action of Super League Rivals Round. 

The Women’s Super League clash is also a repeat of last year’s Grand Final, with the Rhinos having defeated Valkyrie 12-4 thanks to Caitlin Beevers’ brace.

Leeds confirmed that Shannon Lacey, Elychia Watson, Orla McCallion and Evie Cousins are all ruled out with injury.  

Dual-international Fran Goldthorp is on duty with England Rugby Union Under-20s and Georgia Roche is unavailable for selection.

Academy graduate Caitlin Casey could also make her Super League debut. 

York Valkyrie name squad for opener

Off-season recruits Sade Rihari, Aimee Staveley and Chloe Smith have all named in Lindsay Anfield’s squad to take on champions Leeds. 

Sinead Peach will lead the side as club captain in 2023, having been appointed upon the retirement of Katie Langan. 

Peach was previously co-captain alongside Katie Langan, and has been with Valkyrie since 2021, joining from Castleford. 

Leeds: Robinson, Beevers, Butcher, Nuttall, Hulme, Hornby, Bennett, Anderson, Hardcastle, Dainton, Hale, Earnshaw-Cudjoe, Lockwood, Gaines, Northrop, Frain, Hayward, Glynn, Casey. 

York: Andrade, Bell, Dodd, Field, Gale, Hendry, Hetherington, Hyde, Lambert, Marshall, Owen, Peach, Rihari, Renouf, Smith, Stanley, Staveley, Taylor, Whitehead, Wood.

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