SALE Sharks’ Women have signed England’s World Cup-winning captain Katy Daley-Mclean ahead of their foray into the Tyrrells Premier 15s next season.

The 114-cap international, who skippered England to victory in the 2014 World Cup, has signed on at the AJ Bell Stadium as a player-coach and joins from Loughborough Lightning.

Nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year in 2019, Daley-Mclean has her eyes on the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand.

The 34-year-old from South Shields is relishing joining the Sharks as they start life in the top tier of women’s rugby.

“I’m really excited to join such a great club and to be part of an ambitious women’s program from the outset,” she said.  

“The opportunity to combine a player role with some coaching responsibilities is one that I am relishing, particularly the chance to share some of my experiences with a new generation of talented players in the North West.

“Aligning with such a successful men’s side, Sale Women have the opportunity and ambition to ultimately develop a side capable of competing with the dominant women’s clubs in the south, I’d love to be a part of creating that shift.

“I think that our aim at Sale Sharks should be to create an identity which sets us apart from our competitors and positively influences the young players who want to develop through the pathway. 

“I am keen to help to develop talent in the region and to grow opportunities for girls and women in the North West to play the game at the highest level.

“I’m obviously really excited to get started once it’s safe to do so.”

Head of women’s rugby Darren Lamon believes Daley-Mclean, who was awarded an MBE in 2014, can play a key role in developing the next generation of talent in the North West.

“Katy is a role model and her playing career speaks for itself, and I believe Katy has been playing some of her best rugby this season,” he said.

“Having Katy orchestrating the game on the pitch will be massive for our new team, but to have her influence as assistant coach, specifically developing our attacking philosophy and supporting our younger players will be invaluable.  

“Part of our conversations with Katy were that we would want to use this opportunity to future proof the North West’s talented athletes – for too long local players have felt that they need to leave the region to progress to the next level and we want to show that we are going to be that next level."