Sinead Peach hails York Valkyrie's breakthrough moment for women's rugby league
Leeds-born Peach joins Tara Jane Stanley and Liv Wood in signing two-year deals with Valkyrie, who she helped defeat Leeds Rhinos in the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final earlier this month.
It is a groundbreaking move by York RLFC, who together with the Rhinos made the historic step of paying their female players for the 2023 season.
That came on the back of both those cities hosting key games in the women’s Rugby League World Cup last autumn.
The contracts are made up of base salaries, a range of performance-related bonuses and include maternity leave support and NRLW player options. For 25-year-old Peach, who could never envisage such a day when she started playing rugby league as a junior for Hunslet Warriors, it is a significant development.
“If you told me that this moment would come when I was a little girl, I would have laughed at you,” said Peach.
“To see where women's rugby league has progressed is unbelievable and I'm super excited to sign a contract alongside Tara and Liv.
“What the club are doing here is immense and the backing that we receive from Clint and everyone else at the club is amazing.
“Little kids looking up to us can see that this sport is progressing. When I was younger, we were often scrapping around for the team.
“To see where this sport has come now and to now be signing a professional contract it's definitely a pinch-me moment.”
York RLFC chairman Clint Goodchild said: "The women's game is becoming more professional every day. I think that this is a big step forward in getting some security for the players and the clubs and being able to have a transparent approach to contracts and a paid structure.
“We had 5,000 people here at the LNER Community Stadium for the Women's Super League Grand Final. I think that shows there's an appetite and a market for a great product and the trend towards women's rugby league and women's sport is really positive and exciting.”