York Valkyrie can confirm that back-rower Hollie-Mae Dodd will join Canberra Raiders ahead of their 2023 season, becoming the first English player to sign for a club in the NRLW.
Dodd enjoyed a tremendous debut season at York in 2022, winning the Betfred Women’s Super League Young Player of the Year as Lindsay Anfield’s side won a maiden League Leaders’ Shield, the inaugural Women’s Nines and reached the Grand Final for the first time.
The 19-year-old went on to enjoy a stand-out campaign for England during last year’s World Cup, featuring four times and scoring two tries.
Dodd said: “I’ve loved my time here at York and last year was the best season of my rugby career, winning the League Leaders’ Shield.
“As soon as I arrived at York, the girls were really welcoming and I will miss them a lot. But this opportunity, to play in Australia, which has been one of my life-long dreams, was one that I couldn’t turn down.
“Everyone at the Club, especially Lindsay and Clint, have helped me out massively. I’ve really appreciated their support in being able to make his move happen.
“Lindsay has put me through my paces at times, but I've massively appreciated that. She’s the best Coach in the competition and I really appreciate what she has done for the girls.
"Since moving to York, she’s helped the growth of the game and everyone appreciates what she’s done for the sport.”
Valkyrie Director of Rugby Anfield said: “We’re fully behind Hollie and backing her to become a success in the NRLW.
“I’m really proud that she has become the first Betfred Women’s Super League player to make the move to the NRLW.
“Hollie is young and ambitious and she wanted to take this opportunity.
“I’m so proud that the hard-work, dedication and effort she has put in during her rugby league journey so far, especially during her time here at York, has afforded her this chance.
“On behalf of the entire Club, we’d like to wish Hollie the best of luck in Australia. Hollie knows that she will always be welcome here at York RLFC.
“We don’t want English clubs to become feeders to the NRLW, as we’ve got to grow our own product, but equally, at this moment in time, they’re offering a lot to the girls over here.
“Losing Hollie would be a big a loss to any side, but we’ve got depth in our squad and we know that we’ll be able to cover where she is missing.”
York RLFC Chairman Clint Goodchild said: “Hollie is one of the trailblazers of the women’s game, becoming the first player from our Club and the first player from the Betfred Women’s Super League to move to the NRLW.
“We couldn’t be prouder and more supportive of her. At 19, Hollie is still so young and her best rugby is a long way ahead of her, which is scary for opposition sides to think about, given how good she is right now.
"As a Club, we’ll be sitting down with Hollie next week to make sure that she has everything that she needs to be successful in Australia.
“Personally, I’m hoping to find a window to be able go over there to watch her play and learn more from what the NRLW is doing this year.
“The hope is that we can bring our players to the top level. I think that it’s the responsibility, not just of this Club, but the whole game over here, to raise the standard of the competition.
"We’re all taking strides in the right direction, it’s just a matter of how long it’s going to take, not if it’s going to happen.”
Everyone at York RLFC would like to thank Hollie for her time at the Club and wish her all the best in the future!
Dodd remains available for selection as the Valkyrie host St Helens at the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday (1pm) in the side’s first home match of the 2023 season.
Tickets for York Valkyrie's Betfred Women's Super League clash against St Helens at the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday (1pm) are available to purchase NOW.
Tickets are priced at just £5 for Adults and Concessions and FREE for Under-16s and are available to purchase HERE.
Alternatively, you can call 01904 942232 or head to the Ticket Office (next door to the Club Shop).