Georgia Roche capped a wonderful season when she collected the inaugural Women of Steel during the annual ceremony in Manchester on Monday night.
The Dewsbury Moor starlet helped Castleford reach the Women’s Challenge Cup final and the Super League play-off semi-final, only to lose both to rivals Leeds Rhinos.
Roche, who at 17-years-old is one of the youngest players in the women’s, game beat off stiff competition from Castleford Tigers teammate Tara-Jane Stanley and Leeds Rhinos captain Lois Forsell to scoop the award.
The Woman of Steel was introduced in recognition of the rapid development of the women’s game in the last 12 months and ran alongside the men’s ceremony for the first time.
Speaking after collecting the award, a shocked Roche said: “It’s amazing and I’m overwhelmed, I didn’t expect this at all.
“Been up against two fantastic players in Lois and Tara both of whom have mounts of experience on me and have played for England.
“Louis is the captain of Leeds and is fantastic and it still hasn’t sunk in that I am the first ever woman of steel.
“Being so young as well is a massive achievement for me and I can’t believe it.”
Roche, who has also been selected for England’s tour to France later this month, also reflected on a memorable season which saw the Tigers
She added: “At the beginning of this season I didn’t think I’d be anything like I am now but as the season has gone on I have gone from strength to strength and I can feel it in myself but I didn’t expect to make the short list if I am honest and that in itself was a massive achievement but to go on and win it is just something else and is incredible.
“This has been the best season in my rugby career so far and I have played for 12 years.
“The girls and coaches are amazing and I couldn’t wish for a better base and I can’t thank them enough.
“The coaches give up their own time and its all voluntary and the girls support each other and its just been the best season ever.”