Leeds Rhinos Netball have announced Rhea Dixon as their first signing ahead of the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

Dixon, 23, who was part of the inaugural Rhinos Netball squad who finished fourth in the competition last year has agreed a new one year deal with the Yorkshire club.

The former Surrey Storm player was an ever present for the squad this year and the goal attack was one of the team’s top performers; scoring 194 goals and earning selection for the Vitality Roses squad.

Speaking about her new deal Dixon said: “I am so excited to have signed with the club again and to continue what we started last year and hopefully we will be able to build on that top four finish. One of the big influencing factors in signing a new deal was definitely the girls around me, they are a special group and also being part of the Rhinos club was important as it’s just awesome to be part of that pride of Leeds and Yorkshire and hopefully we are doing the county proud.

“The full time aspect is really what I needed to be emersed in when I moved to the club and the individual coaching really helped me realise what my strengths were and how I am best to use them for the good of the team.

“Keeping the culture we created last year will be key for us as it was so pivotal to our success, so we will definitely be looking to build on that and whoever steps into the head coaches role will be pleased to be picking up where we left off.”

Dixon is currently on her first tour with the Vitality Roses in New Zealand, having previously played for England at U17 and U21 level.

Dan Busfield, Leeds Rhinos Netball’s Franchise Director, said: “Rhea had a fantastic debut season with the Rhinos and we are thrilled she has agreed to stay with the club. She is a dynamic and naturally skilful player and was one of our stand out performers last season, playing a key role in helping create our exciting brand of netball. Her form rightly earned her recognition for the Vitality Roses squad.

“Rhea has thrived in the full time set up at the Rhinos and her experience with England will no doubt see her develop even further and we are excited to see what’s to come from her in 2022. Anyone who watches Rhea play will see that she always plays will a smile on her face; she clearly loves the game and her enthusiasm and positive attitude are great attributes to our squad and she embodies the culture that we established in our first season.”

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