YORK Valkyrie captain Sinead Peach has been named as the 2023 Woman of Steel.

The decision was unanimous, with the hooker beating off competition from St Helens trio Shona Hoyle, Emily Rudge and Jodie Cunningham, Leeds Rhinos' Keara Bennett and teammate Tara Jane Stanley to win the award for the first time.

Both Cunningham and Stanley had been vying for a second Woman of Steel title, awarded to the best performing female player in all the sport's formats, having received the accolade in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Peach has been an ever-present in her first year as captain, helping to guide the Valkyrie to a historic second consecutive Betfred Women's Super League Leaders' Shield and first Grand Final triumph.

She was also reinstated back into the England squad, having missed out last November, despite having finished as Runner Up in the 2022 Woman of Steel.

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The 25-year-old finished the regular season with 43 try contributions, an achievement that also saw her pass 100 points in the city's colours, prompting both director of rugby Anfield and assistant coach Callum Windley to tip her for the award.

Peach was presented with the accolade at the RFL's Awards Dinner at Old Trafford last night, hardly able to believe that she had finally won the award that she had been nominated for in each of the last three years.

"I'm absolutely speechless," she told presenter Jenna Brooks on-stage.

"The girls that were in the running are tremendous athletes, so to become a Woman of Steel, I'm absolutely made up!"

An entire table was stood up in celebration as she received her award, with Peach revealing that her whole family had joined her in Manchester.

"They follow me absolutely everywhere," she said. "They're my support system and they've done absolutely everything for me to be able to play rugby today, so I can't thank them enough.

"I'm glad that I have this award for them.

"My mum and dad, my partner, my sisters, my sponsors, everybody who's supported me in the game, I'm so thankful.

"And my teammates, I can only play good off the back of them, so I can't thank them enough.

"The coaching staff, Lindsay, Daryl [North], Clint [Goodchild, chairman], I'm thoroughly grateful for everything that they do for me and the club."

Peach's success was not the only accolade for York RLFC last night, with director of rugby Lindsay Anfield also voted as the Betfred Women's Super League Coach of the Year and the York RLFC Foundation Runners Up in the Foundation of the Year to Barrow Raiders.