International stars sign on for Sharks Women

USA internationals Carly Waters and Alycia Washington will join Italy star Sara Tounesi in the Sharks squad.

England under 20s forward Iona Antwiss and under 18s hooker Niamh Swales also among eight new faces.

Sale Sharks Women can confirm the arrival of eight new signings including an exciting American duo, an Italian Six Nations star and two young England internationals ahead of the 2022/23 Allianz Premier15s season.

USA scrum-half Carly Waters, who starred for league winners Saracens last season, is joined by towering compatriot Alycia Washington, who spent last season at Worcester Warriors Women and was part of the squad in the 2017 World Cup.

Another Premier15s winner in the form of back-row Kay Searcy joins from Wasps and the pack will be further strengthened by the arrival from ASM Clermont of Italian forward Sara Tounesi, who starred in the 2022 Six Nations.

England under 20s forward Iona Antwiss and under 18s hooker Niamh Swales are also among the new signings as Sharks Women look to improve on their ninth placed finish last season.

Former Waterloo prop Sophie Jones and fly-half/centre Cara Cookland, who spent last season at DMP Sharks, make up the new additions.

Sharks’ Head of Rugby Operations for Women’s Rugby Callum Yorke has had to cope with the loss of captain Beth Stafford as well as Molly Kelly and Daisy Hibbert-Jones ahead of the new season.

But he says the new arrivals have given him plenty of hope for the campaign ahead.

He said: “We were disappointed to lose some big characters ahead of the new season. They gave a lot to Sharks on and off the pitch and we wish them all the success in their new clubs this season and in the future.

“But we’ve made some fantastic additions and I’m really confident that the squad is in a really good place now going into a big season for the club.

“We’ve added experience in Carly, Alycia, Kay and plenty of exciting young talent too and everyone is just really excited to get going now. There’s so much potential and ambition at this club and we can’t wait to see what we can achieve together this season.”

The Women’s World Cup means that the Allianz Premier15s season doesn’t get underway until November. However, Sale Sharks Women will be in action in the Allianz Cup in September.

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