York swoop for Kiwi half-back

Sade Rihari York Valkyrie SWpix Credit: Alamy
Sade Rihari York Valkyrie SWpix Credit: Alamy

York Valkyrie have signed New Zealander half-back Sade Rihari from fellow Women’s Super League side Salford for the 2023 campaign.

The 26-year-old spent last season with Salford, who gained promotion to the Women’s Super League after topping the Championship with 14 wins from 15 games in the regular season.

In 2021, she won the Women’s Super League Shield with Huddersfield, being named Player of the Match in their win over Featherstone.

Rihari said: “I’m really excited to be here at York and get stuck in. The girls here compete really hard, which I love.

“I love their competitiveness, so this year should be good.

“From watching York last on TV, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, these girls are strong and here to win. Maybe I could play in one of these teams one day.’ Now I’ve got the opportunity and I’m going to take it with both hands.

“We’re after every trophy. That’s what we want. We’re training hard in pre-season because we’re going into every game wanting to win.”

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Sade Rihari “a natural half-back”

Rihari has represented New Zealand in touch rugby. She has previously enjoyed spells in Australia with Queanbeyan Blues and Mackay Brothers.

Valkyrie director of rugby Lindsay Anfield said: “Sade is someone that I’ve known about for a while.

“I see her as a natural half. As soon as she gets a ball in her hand, you can see that she understands the game really well, has an in-depth knowledge of rugby league and is a missing link for us at half-back.

“She’s not played on the biggest stage in this country yet but this is her opportunity now and hopefully she’ll flourish in our environment.”

Rihari will follow in the footsteps of her partner Ata Hingano, who moved to York midway through last season from Leigh.

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