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Rhinos sign Vicki Oyesola

Young Vitality Roses star Vicki Oyesola, 22, is the second player to commit her future to new Vitality Netball Superleague side Leeds Rhinos Netball.

The defender, who last week was named in Jess Thirlby’s England Vitality Roses squad for the three-Test tour to New Zealand this month, joins the Rhinos on a one-year deal from Loughborough Lightning.

Oyesola said she is thrilled to have agreed a deal with the Rhinos for the 2021 season: “I’m really looking forward to joining Leeds Rhinos Netball, it is an exciting opportunity to be building with a brand new team, with great staff and players. Joining a club at the start gives us the ability to grow together and we have the opportunity to build our own culture.

“When I spoke to Dan Ryan, he spoke about creating a team that is strong and diverse, bringing in players from different areas with different experiences and building and developing the players individually as well as the team as a whole, which is something I really bought into.

“I am looking forward to building strong partnerships within the team and my ambition is that we become a competitive side who push for a top four position.”

The London born player made her Vitality Roses debut in 2017 against Scotland and has been capped a further three times for her country. At club level she has played for Saracens Mavericks and Loughborough Lightning, where she won the VNSL Young Player of the Season Award in her debut season.

Alongside her playing career she will continue her studies in Mechanical Engineering Degree at Loughborough University.

Oyesola will join fellow Roses international Jade Clarke in the Rhinos squad ahead of the club’s first Vitality Netball Superleague season.

Dan Ryan, High Performance Director & Superleague Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos Netball said: “Vicki is an absolute powerhouse of an athlete and one of the most exciting young defensive talents in the country. “She’s such a ferocious competitor, never takes a backwards step and I just love the ferocity and intensity that she brings to the court every single time.

“Her attacking style of defence is uncompromising and her ability to wear down her an opponent and come up with the ball when it matters the most, is so impressive.

“She is another big signing for us and is definitely going to be a huge asset to our defensive unit. I can’t wait to see her flying for intercepts and charging down court next season.”