York Valkyrie teenager Hollie-Mae Dodd has become the first English woman to sign a professional rugby league deal in Australia.
The 19-year-old loose forward will join up with National Rugby League club Canberra Raiders prior to the start of pre-season training next month.
Dodd made her last appearance for Valkyrie in their emphatic win at Leeds Rhinos on the opening day of the new Betfred Women’s Super League season on Easter Sunday.
Valkyrie coach Lindsay Anfield alluded to Dodd’s departure after the game, calling it an “absolutely massive” moment for the player and the club.
Leeds Rhinos duo Georgia Roche and Fran Goldthorp, who were left out of the loss to Valkyrie, are also expected to confirm moves to rival NRWL clubs within the next few days.
Dodd, who plays predominantly at loose forward, started at Castleford in 2019 and made her England debut in their 60-0 win over Wales in 2021.
She left Castleford to join York in December that same year, helping them claim last season’s League Leaders’ Shield as well as starring in England’s run to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
Dodd told her new club’s social media channels: “I am super grateful and excited to be on board at Canberra.
“I knew now was the time for a challenge within myself, therefore coming over and playing in the NRLW I’m ready to learn off world class athletes to help my development within the game.
“Training and playing as a professional athlete in the sport I have love for has been a dream of mine ever since being a child.”