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Leeds Rhinos make statement signing as they sign star from rivals ahead of Women’s Super League season

Leeds Rhinos Women have signed two time treble winner and England international Amy Hardcastle from St Helens ahead of the 2023 Betfred Women’s Super League season.

Hardcastle, 33, was one of the stand out players for England in last year’s World Cup and makes her return to Yorkshire after committing her future to the reigning Women’s Super League Champions.

The Halifax born player, started her career with Bradford and was part of the treble winning Bradford side in 2017, alongside her Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell.  She went on to captain the Bulls and won her first cap for England in 2009 before going on to represent her country in the 2013 and 2017 World Cups.  In 2020, Hardcastle was the only English player to be named in the Women’s Team of the Decade, selected by the NRL.

She made the switch to St Helens in 2020, but due to the cancellation of the season due to covid, didn’t make her debut until the following year.  She enjoyed an unforgettable first season at Saints, scoring 23 tries in 13 appearances and once again won all three domestic trophies.  The following season she played in the Challenge Cup Final winning squad against Leeds and finished the year representing England in the World Cup where she earned her 24th cap.

Speaking about joining the Rhinos, 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 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.”

Leeds Rhinos Head 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.”

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