LEEDS Rhinos have made a double swoop for two members of York Valkyrie's double-winning side.

Prop Grace Field and outside back Liv Whitehead have both made the move to West Yorkshire, less than a month after the Valkyrie's historic Grand Final win against their old rivals.

The pair were among four players released at the end of the season, alongside young talent Chloe Smith and Kacey Davies.

Leeds-born Field arrives at her hometown club with bags of experience, including playing in numerous Challenge Cup Finals and Grand Finals for Featherstone Rovers, Castleford Tigers and York.

She was one of a core of seven players to follow director of rugby Lindsay Anfield from Castleford to the LNER Community Stadium in 2021, going on to feature 27 times for York.

The four-time England international made eight appearances for the renamed Valkyrie in 2023, though missed the latter part of the season after electing to have surgery on a shoulder injury.

Field admitted that she was excited to have the opportunity to play for her hometown club Leeds, and that she is looking forward to pre-season.

“I think Leeds are an ambitious team who are capable of winning trophies, which they have done in the past," she explained.

"I know a lot of the Leeds girls from being around the England programmes and I have played with a few at different clubs so I’m looking forward to working with them again.

“I grew up supporting Leeds, so it is a real special feeling knowing that I am joining the club I grew up watching and supporting and to get the chance to run out at Headingley and represent the team is something I am proud of.”

19-year-old Whitehead arrives at Headingley at the other end of the experience scale, having broken into the team at York over the last two seasons.

BWSL Young Player of the Year Caitlin Casey and Bella Sykes are just two familiar faces to the young outside back, who is currently a part of both the England Knights and the DiSE programmes.

Primarily utilised on the wing, Whitehead also proved an able stand-in for former Woman of Steel Tara Jane Stanley at full-back, scoring seven tries and 11 goals in eight appearances last term - including in the Valkyrie's 22-6 victory against Wigan Warriors in the Play-off Semi Final.

In total, she scored 29 tries and 20 goals during her time in York.

Whitehead cited the ability to progress as one of the contributory factors of her move to Leeds, saying: "I am looking forward to being part of the Rhinos squad next year.  Leeds have a young squad and I feel there are opportunities to progress and they have a good set up around the club.  

“I know quite a few of the girls from England Knights and England Students so it will be nice to have some familiar faces when we start up in pre season. 

"I am still a young player so I want to work hard to progress and hopefully help Leeds secure silverware next season.”

Head coach Lois Forsell is excited to welcome both players to the Rhinos, who will seek to regain their Women's Super League crown after a season that saw them claim the Women's Nines title only.

“I think Liv is an exciting young player," she enthused.

"She is involved with England Knights so I have worked with her in that set-up.  She is a player that is hungry and determined to make the first team and wants to be playing regularly so that is really good. 

"She approached us and wanted to come to Leeds, she is studying in the city so it ties in well.  I am looking forward to working with her.

“I am also pleased that Grace will be joining us. 

She has had a difficult couple of years with injuries and I don’t think we have seen the best of her yet.  I spoke with her about the massive potential I think she has got in the game. 

"Knowing what she can do, she's physical and aggressive and I believe she will definitely add to our pack with those qualities. 

"I hope she can have a good pre-season and have a real good year in blue and amber.”