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Bdr Bethan Dainton (RA) says that the code switch to rugby league has boosted her fitness and running with ball in hand.

The experienced dual code international followed up her Player of the Match performance in the Inter Service Championship win over the Royal Navy with a pair of long-range tries for Leeds Rhinos that helped her club reach the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup.

Bdr Dainton made her debut for the Rhinos in the Super League opener against York, and has been mixing her training in the city with her rugby union in the red shirt during the Inter Service Championship campaign.

Having made the change from 15-a-side to 13-a-side in mid-season, Bdr Dainton says there have been no regrets.

“Leeds has been amazing,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been there a long time, the girls are fantastic and the coaching team is great, and it’s nice to do something different and do something for myself. I’m loving learning new stuff.

“In league there is a lot more running and I’m doing around double the running that I did in union. For me I love that, I love the challenge, and I’m really enjoying it.

“I’m trying to get my hands on the ball a bit more. In previous years I’ve been getting stuck in breakdowns and not playing my game, so this year I wanted to do my own job and it paid off at Twickenham.”

Bdr Dainton was an ever-present in the red shirt throughout both the Inter Service Championship and the build-up in the preceding months, and she paid credit to the playing group for making the 2022/23 season a special one.

“For me it’s playing with the team,” she added. “It doesn’t matter where we play. We’ve been fighting to play at Twickenham for so long and it’s great to run out there in the shirt. You’ll never get a group like we’ve got at the moment. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to play in this shirt, so when we come together we want to make it special.”

The Army Women’s team lift the Babcock Trophy (Army v navy Match Trophy) and Inter Service Trophy at Twickenham.

Image – Alligin Photography © Army v Navy Match

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks

Header and featured images provided by Bethan Dainton from Leeds Rhinos