It was announced this month that York Valkyrie would become just the second women’s team in Super League to start paying their players and that’s something that the squad has used to drive Grand Final ambitions.
Valkyrie are one of the more successful sides in the women’s Super League and their opening day game will pit them against rivals Leeds Rhinos, to whom they lost in the 2022 Grand Final.
Rhinos are also the only other side to pay their players with Valkyrie having followed in their footsteps earlier this year.
The decision to do so is huge for the sport and will hopefully allow those players to develop more given their reimbursement for their huge physical efforts.
Director of Rugby, Lindsay Anfield, spoke in a video released to Valkyrie’s Twitter about the impact the decision has had on the players.
“We’re back in training now which is great and here’s a real buzz around the place, the girls have upped their standards.
“I know people have been talking about them getting financially rewarded this year but I’ve really put that back on them. It’s not being rewarded for what you’ve done before, it’s about upping your standards and your game and they’ve really come back and done that.”
York were in the hat for the Challenge Cup draw last week and that saw them tied in a group with Leigh, Hull KR and Barrow, but with dates yet to be confirmed the fixture in mind is that 2022 Grand Final rematch against Leeds on the opening day of the season.
Anfield said: “It’s a big one to start off with, we’re just getting everyone back into training and making sure we’re all singing off the same hymn sheet as we get ready for the season.”
Valkyrie will travel to Headingley on April 9th for that season opener in a game that will be a double header with the men’s Super League ‘Rivals Weekend’ with Rohan Smith’s team set to host Huddersfield Giants.