03 January 2020

England rugby league and Leeds Rhinos star Charlotte Booth signs for Australian club West Brisbane Panthers

England rugby league and Leeds Rhinos star Charlotte Booth has become the first Women's Super League player to sign for an Australian club.

Booth will play for the West Brisbane Panthers in the upcoming season after playing at Rhinos for two years. Previous to this, she was at Bradford where she won the domestic treble.

The 26-year-old said she couldn't thank Leeds enough for their support. She told Serious about RFL: "Leeds have been super supportive. Head coaches Leon Crick and Adam Cuthbertson have both been very understanding. 

"They have said I will be missed and it’s a loss for the club, but in regard to my personal development it’s going to be priceless. They have allowed me to train up until travelling to Australia. I cannot thank Leeds enough as a club. It’s a real special place."

Booth was involved in the ground-breaking Grand Final of the WSL in October that saw the women televised for the first time. Booth's Rhinos were victorious over Castleford Tigers and claimed the domestic double after beating Tigers again earlier in the year to win the Challenge Cup.

Despite success at Rhinos, Booth says the move to the Australian league is about personal development. She added: "The move is both lifestyle and rugby related. I’ve been blessed to be a part of some amazing sides, winning the treble in 2017 with Bradford, the Challenge Cup in 2018 with Leeds and then Challenge Cup and Grand Final winner in 2019, again with the Rhinos. 

"I am not getting any younger at 26 and I feel playing abroad now will be the next chapter in my playing career and an opportunity to kick on and really push myself. So yes, rugby and who doesn’t love the sunshine?!"

The star may have a chance of playing in the National Rugby League Women alongside players like Ali Brigginshaw. The Australian league operates with all players playing in the development 1 league and then individuals are scouted for the NRLW teams.

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