York Valkyrie: Women's Super League champions extend number of professional deals to 12

Women's Super League champions York Valkyrie have signed nine more players to two-year professional contracts, taking the total to 12 overall.

Valkyrie gave paid contracts to England trio of Tara Jane Stanley, Liv Wood and Sinead Peach last week.

Savannah Andrade, Georgie Hetherington, Rhiannion Marshall, Lacey Owen, Tamzin Renouf, Liv Gale, Jas Bell, Jess Sharp, and Emma Kershaw have also now signed.

The deals are made up of base salaries, with extra benefits also included.

These amount to a a range of performance-related bonuses and also include maternity leave support and National Rugby League Women player options down in Australia.

"I think that this a great move by both the players and the club, allowing us to retain the core of the team from the last two seasons and meaning that we can continue to build over the next two years, which is really exciting," chairman Clint Goodchild said.

"These girls are everything great about the club, they train incredibly hard, they look after each other as team-mates and people.

"To have the calibre of squad that we currently do with everyone possessing the right attitude, I'm really proud of all of them."

Goodchild indicated further contracts would be confirmed, as York set about defending their title following victory over Leeds in the Grand Final.

There have been some eye-catching moves throughout the WSL this off-season, with Wigan appointing former Great Britain international and Widnes coach Denis Betts as their boss, and Leeds signing Grace Field and Liv Whitehead from the Valkyrie.