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Sheffield Eagles v York Valkyrie - Match Preview

🤝 York RLFC Match Previews are proudly sponsored by David Lloyd York!

York Valkyrie kick off their 2024 campaign with a trip to Sheffield Eagles on Sunday (2pm) at the Olympic Legacy Park in the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup.

The Betfred Women's Challenge Cup was the only major trophy that York missed out on 2023, having captured a record second successive League Leaders' Shield and a maiden Grand Final.

A last-minute drop-goal from Faye Gaskin saw St Helens steal a thrilling 17-16 Semi-Final victory at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium, with Saints going on to beat Leeds Rhinos 22-8 at the Wembley Stadium Final.

The Valkyrie had also suffered defeat in the 2022 Semi-Finals, losing out 26-24 to Leeds Rhinos, while St Helens claimed a first of three straight Betfred Challenge Cups when beating York 34-6 in the 2021 Final.

While Lindsay Anfield's side are bidding for a first Betfred Challenge Cup, opponents Sheffield are making their debut in the competition, having finished fifth in the Women's Championship last year.

The Eagles, whose women's operation is spearheaded by former England international Andrea Dobson, recorded 11 wins from 18 league outings in 2023.

York head to South Yorkshire with a handful of new faces in their squad, complementing the core group which sealed the League Leaders' Shield and Grand Final double last year.

England winger Eboni Partington, a try-scorer at Wembley in last year's Final, has arrived from St Helens, adding further international experience to the York squad.

Warrington Wolves playmaker Lucy Eastwood, linking up again with Anfield after a previous spell together at Castleford Tigers, has joined to provide further depth at half-back while centre Manuqalo Komaitai comes to the Valkyrie with a burgeoning reputation formed at the British Army.

All three will be hopeful of making their York debuts this weekend while Anfield's side is also further strengthened by the return of ex-England star Kelsey Gentles, who is back in 2024 after missing last year following the birth of her daughter Maia.

York Valkyrie kick off their 2024 season in the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup against Sheffield Eagles at Olympic Legacy Park (2pm) on Sunday. Tickets are priced at £5 for Adults and £1 for Under-16s and are available to purchase on-the-gate only.


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