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Alumna becomes first English professional Women’s Rugby League player

Posted on 07 January 2020

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Leeds Trinity alumna Charlotte Booth will be the first English professional Women's Rugby League player ever, when she moves to Australia to play professional rugby this month.

26-year-old Charlotte, who's spent the last two seasons at Leeds Rhinos, has signed a deal with Division One side West Brisbane Panthers. She will be the first English player to play professionally.

Speaking to the League Express, Charlotte said: "I'm quite humble…and I feel a bit uncomfortable as I'm not sure I'm the one that really deserves that title.

"There have been so many great players before me that have done so much for the game and it's a shame that it's only now that we can start getting these rewards. It's recognition for all the work they have done in the game and it is something I can be proud of.

"I'd like to think this move is a stepping stone in the right direction for the game as a whole."

Charlotte started playing rugby when she was 18, first for Guiseley Storm and then Bradford Bulls, as a fullback and winger. In 2017, she became the first ever Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) supported female Rugby League player and represented England at the World Cup in Australia. In 2018, she was named the Student Sport Individual Winner at the Leeds Sports Awards and joined the first ever Leeds Rhinos Women's squad, winning two Challenge Cups and a Grand Final during her two seasons with the club.

Throughout her career, Charlotte successfully managed her training alongside her studies and graduated in December 2018 with a degree in Exercise, Health and Nutrition. She was supported by the University's Talented Athlete Support Package, which includes: one-to-one athlete mentoring; learning and teaching support to manage training, competing and studying; and access to specialist training facilities and sports science support.

Sarah Todd, Sports Development Manager, said: "Charlotte is a role model for females in sport and for Rugby League as a whole. She is continually breaking down barriers and striving to take on the next challenge, yet remains humble in doing so, a testament to her character. I'm so proud of everything she has achieved both on and off the field and I look forward to following her sporting career in Australia."

Good luck, Charlotte!