Leeds Rhinos Women have appointed Hanna Butcher as their new captain ahead of the 2023 Betfred Women’s Super League season.
Butcher, who is now in her sixth season at Headingley, has been vice-captain for the last five years and has consistently been one of the Rhinos’ key performers since making her debut in 2018.
England international Caitlin Beevers has also been named as Vice-Captain. 21-year-old Beevers has also been at the club since 2018 and is regarded as one of the most highly-rated young players in the women’s game. Beevers also starred for England at last year’s Rugby League World Cup.
Reflecting on being named captain, Butcher said: “It was a bit of a shock and not something I was expecting. I am so pleased that I have been given the opportunity. I am honoured and have had some really nice messages from the girls so I am looking forward to taking on the role.”
Butcher replaces Courtney Winfield-Hill as Rhinos captain after the latter announced she taking time away from the game at the end of last season.
“I think Courtney was quite chilled out as a captain,” said Butcher.
“She was always really calm so if I can bring some of that with me that would be great.”
🔜 Easter Sunday Double Header, all junior tickets £5!
🦏 Rhinos women v York Valkyrie ⏭️ Rhinos men v Huddersfield Giants
🎤 Charlie Simpson pre-match DJ set
🦖 Pete the Dino
🤖 Roaming robots
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) March 25, 2023
Leeds Rhinos Women’s head coach Lois Forsell added: “When you think about a player who is respected by her team mates that’s Hanna. She leads by example and has played in almost every game since 2018. She’s supported Courtney over the last few years and stepped into the captain’s role on a number of occasions and I had no hesitation in making her our captain.
“I think Caitlin will make a great vice-captain, she already shows great leadership skills. She is vocal and another player that leads by example. She has the ability to pull a big play out of the bag when things are getting tough in games and gives the teams confidence and pushes them to be better. I think both will form a great leadership team.”
Leeds Rhinos Women kick off their Betfred Women’s Super League season on Sunday 9 April when they host York Valkyrie at Headingley.