YORK City Knights Ladies have continued their recruitment drive with the signings of former England Students international Tilly Butler.

The 25-year-old arrives at York following a successful trial at the Knights Ladies' NFL-style Scouting Combine last month at the York St John University’s Sports Park.

Butler, who works as a lieutenant in the British Army, represented the forces’ team before a spell with Featherstone Rovers in the 2021 season.

Capable of playing at either second-row or centre, Butler is a former England Students international who has previously worked with York director of rugby Lindsay Anfield in the students’ set-up.

She becomes the third new recruit to be made by the Knights of the 2022 season following the arrivals of full-back Tara Stanley and forward Jasmine Bell.

Butler will be looking to bring her experience within the armed forces’ culture to the Knights set-up as Anfield’s team look to build on their Betfred Women's Challenge Cup runners-up and Women’s Super League semi-final finishes next season.

On the recruitment of Butler, Anfield admitted she was pleased to have the opportunity to, once again, work with her new signing.

“I first met Tilly in 2014 when I was with the England Students head coach," recalled Anfield.

"She’s always been a really confident, athletic member of the team. She’s really driven, really committed and her reasons for coming to York are that she wants to push herself.

“She wants to fight for a shirt and be a small cog in a winning culture and we really welcome her addition. She’s a really strong, versatile player and will add the strength in depth to the squad that we lacked at times last year.

“To bring Tilly, and all the new players in who are strong, athletic and fully buying into the ethos of the team and wanting to compete fully with the top teams in the league really does stand us in good stead for the coming season and beyond.”

On signing for the club, Butler shared her delight as well as pointing to several reasons for joining the club.

“I’m really happy to have joined the club," she said. "It’s a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to next season.

“I first played rugby league for England Students in 2015 when Lindsay was coach and I played with a few of the girls at York now back then, so it’s great to be back playing with them."

On being picked up following the Scouting Combine, Butler added: “It was great to see something different than just a trial on the pitch.

"The stadium is amazing and it’s great to see that next season there will be more double-headers with the men, which will be great for helping grow the women’s game.

“The training facilities as well, for us to be able to go straight from the pitch into the gym is amazing.

“I really wanted to join a team that holds the same level of professionalism and winning culture that the Army team has, so that was definitely a big thing for me to come to York for.”