Reigning Betfred Women’s Super League Champions, Leeds Rhinos, have strengthened their squad for the 2023 season with the signing of Army Rugby League stars Bethan Dainton, Kaiya Glynn and Jenna Greening.
Dainton, 33, a serving soldier, previously played for Rugby Union side Harlequins, where she won the Premier 15 title in 2021 and became the first service woman to play for the Barbarians.
She is a dual code international, who won eight caps in Rugby Union for her country before winning her first cap in Rugby League in 2022. She also represents the Army in both codes. Last season she scored two tries for the Army when they beat the Royal Navy at Twickenham andwas awarded MVP of the International Defence Rugby competition in New Zealand.
Speaking about signing for the Rhinos, Dainton said: “It’s great to be joining the Rhinos, the team have been really welcoming and I can’t wait for the season to start. I made the switch from Rugby Union to League with the Army and I really enjoy playing League, it suits my style of play, it’s fast and you have to be fit to play and have good with ball handling skills.
“I’ve been training with Leeds for a couple of weeks and it’s been really good. We have done a lot of fitness, but it’s been nice to be around a different bunch of players. I know the team are ambitious and want to win more silverware next season and I am looking forward to playing my part.”
Peterborough born Glynn, 26, a fellow serving soldierbased at Catterick as a combat medical technician, made the switch to Rugby League with the Army after starting out her sporting career playing football. She was the team’s top points scorer in 2021 and had another standout season in 2022, helping her team to their 13th consecutive Inter Services title and was once again their top points scorer and Players Player of the year. She was also selected for the England Community Lions.
Commenting on her signing, Glynn said: “It’s a great opportunity to be joining the Rhinos and I am excited to see what the year brings.
“Initially I played football when I was younger and then I joined the Army and was asked by the head coach of the Army Rugby League to try out for the team. I played a season and was then deployed with the army, but when I came back I got the chance to play in Super League South for two seasons.
“I am still a novice in the game, so I think coming into a team like the Rhinos is a fantastic opportunity. The Army have been very supportive and are really looking for me to progress.
“I have trained a few weeks with the Rhinos and they are a really good group, the standard is a lot higher and it’s a great jump and hopefully with Leeds I can develop my game and become more of a transitional player and build in confidence.”
Greening, 31, recently returned to playing Rugby League with the Army after a ten year break from the game. She is an Army Reservist, who plays in the halves, and also works as an Operational Support Grade at Hull prison. The Hull born player has been a consistent performer for the Army and in 2021 won the Katie Garside Trophy as the Coaches Player of the Season. Last season she was a try scorer in the 10-0 win against the Navy to help the Army win their 13th consecutive Inter Services title and was also selected to represent the England Community Lionesses.
Greening said: “t feels amazing to be signing for the Rhinos and to be given this opportunity and I am really looking forward to playing alongside some really good players. I took ten years out of the game and returned to playing two years ago with the Army so it’s great to be given the chance to play with Leeds.
“I have already learned so much from Lois in the short time I have been with the club. My ambitions for the season are to develop myself as a player and to learn from the girls who are at the club.”
Leeds Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell added: “I am delighted to bring all three players to the Rhinos and I have been really impressed with what I have seen in training so far. They are all great people and have settled in really well.
Jenna has great skill and I am excited to see how she will develop over the season in our environment. Kaiya is a great athlete, she is strong and powerful and I am looking forward to seeing how much value these attributes will add to our squad. Bethan is another strong athlete who has really made an impression since she started playing league. She will add leadership skills to our team and I can’t wait to see how she progresses over the season.”
The Rhinos have also been linked with a signing Amy Hardcastle from rivals St Helens as well as Georgia Hale from New Zealand Warriors who is the partner of new signing for the men’s team Sam Lisone.