York poach former Woman of Steel Hollie Dodd who reveals reason for her exit

York City Knights have confirmed the signing of England international Hollie Dodd from Castleford Tigers.

18-year-old Dodd, named the 2021 Woman of Steel at her former club, shot to fame in 2019 after making her debut for Cas aged sixteen in that year’s Challenge Cup Final. A back-rower, Dodd went on to make her England debut in a 60-0 victory against Wales – a match in which she scored a try.

Dodd also lined up for England in their October test victory against France in October alongside new Knights teammates Tara Stanley, Savannah Andrade and Grace Field and will no doubt be in contention to represent her country in the Rugby League World Cup at the end of the season.

A talented sportswoman at school, Dodd has also danced to a high level. Extremely athletic, the teenager has many years at the top level to come and Director of Rugby Lindsay Anfield couldn’t hide her delight at bringing Dodd to the Knights.

“Hollie is going to be a massive asset to our squad and is one of the biggest talents in the Women’s Super League.

“Hollie has played from a really young age and I’ve known her since she was in year seven. I’ve always had a great relationship with her and she will add a significant amount of strength to our pack.

“Hollie has got great footwork, great handling and she is defensively really strong. Our aim as a club is to transform her from being one of the best young talents to an established, top-level Women’s Super League player who is going to be a top international for the next few years.

“Being based down at Loughborough for University, it’s a great reflection of the club that she has fully bought into and committed to the Knights and that she wants to be a key player for us in the 2022 season and beyond.”

As part of the move, Dodd will be receiving expenses to travel to York from Loughborough University and pointed to that support as one of the factors that contributed to her opting to make the move.

“I’m based at Loughborough at the minute for University which makes it challenging to get here but one of the things included is travel expenses so that’s really helpful for the girls travelling in. It really does help and I’m so excited to be involved with a new set of girls and to see how next year is going to be.”

On signing for the club, Dodd admitted she was delighted before pointing to how much it meant to represent England this year on national television.

“I’m really excited to join the girls and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in 2022.

“It was massive. Playing on Sky Sports and the BBC was a massive achievement. I’m so grateful to have had the chance to do that and, hopefully, there is more to come!

Finally, Dodd pointed to a big 2022: “I’m looking to bring more than I did last season and, hopefully, it will be my best season yet!”

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