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So far I think they have lost Amy Hardcastle, Carrie Roberts and Beth Stott, that is 3 International players plus they have lost the 2022 most improved player Isabel Rudge.

They will still have a competitive 17 but not sure about depth if they pickup a few injuries.

 

Everything under the sun is in tune

But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

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3 hours ago, BroncoFan said:

So far I think they have lost Amy Hardcastle, Carrie Roberts and Beth Stott, that is 3 International players plus they have lost the 2022 most improved player Isabel Rudge.

They will still have a competitive 17 but not sure about depth if they pickup a few injuries.

 

I know Hardcastle has been connected with Leeds - any idea about the likely destinations (if any) of the other three ?

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With the official announcement of Amy Hardcastle leaving Saints for Leeds, an interesting reaction on the team's FB page :-

 

"Seems like the RFL are allowing Leeds to effectively do to the Womens game in 2023 what Wigan RL, in reality, did to the Men's game in 1988 and be the only paid professional team.

As a result they will acquire the best team and will go on to dominate the Womens game. Whether the Womens game's new found support following the 2021 WC (2022) will be lost and Womens game is strong enough to survive this situation remains to be seen.

But I fear that the gulf in standards between their team and the rest will be too wide. Leeds are building a professional rugby team whilst the rest are amateurs and the RFL need to find a main sponsor for Womens Rugby very very quickly in order to professionalise the whole of the Women's Competition"

My response :-

"York fan here - with respect, any money that Leeds and York players receive this year will hardly make them "professional" - it's far more like "broken time payments" and a few win bonuses. Gary Hetherington of the Rhinos said in his statement that the women's team is "highly marketable" and adds value to the Rhinos brand, and I think he's spot-on. York Valkyrie have their own shirt sponsorship deal this year (a new sponsor to the club), and the cost of the individual shirt sponsorships will be not be that far behind the men's team. They attract a growing, paying crowd.

Conversely, the future of Saints' women's team can't rely on the retention of a 34 year old veteran like Amy. Saints did very well in attracting players on the basis of having Craig Richards (Saints' Head of Women's RL) as the England coach in the run-up to the World Cup. He duly delivered, with eleven Saints players in the WC squad - as against seven from Leeds and four from York - despite Saints finishing 3rd in the WSL last year. Hardly surprising that Saints don't look such an attractive option for established players this year......."

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Think you've summed it up nicely RBKnight, and hit the spot on the England squad and number of Saints within.

I think some really believe Leeds and York are paying full time wages, and not just giving them a bit of (deserved) cash as a boost.

You'd imagine it's easier to play for a team closer to home, and pick up a bit of extra money, than travel the M62.

Hardcastle leaving Bradford for Saints was worse for the competition than anyone who swaps Leeds/York/Saints for one of the other three.

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I heard a whisper Wigan are going to pay as well which I think is great news and if they can attract a couple of big props and a halfback then they will be really strong.

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Everything under the sun is in tune

But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

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Like Saints wern't paying some of those players.🤣 At the end of the day as soon as Leeds and then York decided they were going to start paying players, Amy was always going to go to whichever one she thought would be able to keep her profile at its highest.

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