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Caroline O'Hanlon of Manchester Thunder.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Caroline O'Hanlon of Manchester Thunder catches the ball during the Vitality Netball Superleague spring showdown round 13 match between Manchester Thunder and Strathclyde Sirens at Resorts World Arena on April 16, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott/Getty Images for England Netball)

Leeds Rhinos have announced that Northern Ireland captain Caroline O’Hanlon is the sixth player to join their squad for the upcoming Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season.

O’Hanlon, who can play centre and wing attack, joins from Manchester Thunder where she won the Superleague title last season. The 38-year-old has represented Northern Ireland in three Netball World Cups, two European Championships and captained her side in this year’s Commonwealth Games, which was the third time she had competed in the event.

The Newry-born player started out with Lisburn-based club Larkfield in the Northern Premier League and first played in Superleague with Team Northumbria in 2014.

She spent a season with Sirens in 2018 before signing for Thunder where she has played for the last five years and was part of their Championship winning sides in 2019, alongside current Leeds Head Coach Liana Leota, and again in 2022.

Alongside her netball career, O’Hanlon is a General Practitioner and Gaelic Footballer, playing inter-county for nearly two decades with Armagh Ladies. She is a three-time All-Star and was named as Player of the Year in 2014. Her achievements in netball and Gaelic Football saw her win the Northern Ireland Sportswoman of the Year in 2010.

Commenting on signing a contract with Leeds, O’Hanlon said: “I am really looking forward to joining the Rhinos.  I have been with Thunder for the last five years and I loved that experience. We of course had a great year last year but I am now looking ahead to a new challenge and I am really excited about the squad that has been put together.

“I know Liana from her time at Thunder so I can’t wait to get working with her again, she is a fountain of knowledge and as a player she had loads of flair and a high work ethic and will bring fresh new ideas.

“I have been an admirer of Leeds over the last two years, I have really enjoyed watching their style of play and how they have developed as a franchise and I was really impressed when I spoke to the club about their aspirations for the season and I am ready for a competitive year. The squad that they have gathered is really exciting and I think we can do some really good stuff on court.”

Leeds Rhinos Netball Head Coach Liana Leota said: “I am so happy that we have Caroline as part of our team, I think she was outstanding at the Commonwealth Games and individually it was the best I’ve seen her play. She is a person you always want on your team, she’s hard working and a good person on and off the court and would do anything for the team.

“I played with her for three years at Thunder when she was centre and I was wing attack so I have a good connection with her and know her well and she will be a big asset for our squad.”

O’Hanlon becomes Leeds Rhinos’ sixth signing of the 2023 Signing Window following Brie Grierson, Vicki Oyesola, Michelle Magee, Rosie Harris and Nia Jones. You can view their full squad here.

For news on all of the latest signings during the window, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to keep across the ins and outs with our 2023 Signing Window Twitter Moment. For specific club news, be sure to be across all eleven of our teams on their respective social media accounts and subscribe to our List.

We will also be covering each signing in full on our website, offering weekly round-ups and are offering a comprehensive overview of 2023 squads on our Transfers page. Don’t miss out!

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