Rugby league Grand Final: Leeds Rhinos' Charlotte Booth on the big match against Castleford

Booth won the Challenge Cup with The Rhinos in July (PA Images)
15:16pm, Fri 11 Oct 2019
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England and Leeds Rhinos rugby league star Charlotte Booth is looking forward to a trip to Sydney and the World Cup Nines later this month.

What she's looking forward to even more is her first pay packet after playing sport at the top level for nine years.

Booth told NewsChain: "Yeah, it's huge to be acknowledged. My first call-up for England was in France and I had to fund myself. I had to get sponsors to even go. So to go from that point to now is phenomenal.

"I can only hope that grows and grows, to be a paid athlete is the ultimate goal. It's not happened as of yet but it's really getting there. If anything I thank the players that came before me and before my generation. 

"They have worked so hard to see it here now. I bet for some of them it's bittersweet as they haven't lived it themselves but they have contributed to it."

Booth is a science technician at a high school in Leeds and is considering progressing to be a biology teacher next year.

The 26-year-old said: "If [being a professional player] meant I couldn't be a teacher and play rugby, I would do rugby solely. However, if I could do both I would.

"I would like to have a career [outside of rugby] simply because nothing is for ever. I have had friends who have had injures 20 seconds into game that have changed their lives so if I could do both I would."

But before Booth heads off to Sydney, there's the small matter of the Women's Super League final in the slightly less exotic location of St Helens this evening.

The Rhinos take on League Leaders Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked Stadium in the first televised final.

Booth believes they have a strong chance of winning, while Castleford will be out for revenge after losing the Challenge Cup Final to The Rhinos back in July. 

She said: "I think we're just all looking to finish the year on a high. Some of the girls have felt the pain [of losing the Grand Final last year to Wigan] all season. Friday gives us that opportunity to right our wrongs.

"We are a squad that can finish, we know how to play finals. We're quite composed and close knit so I think that will be an advantage in a big game.

"Both teams are going to want it, both teams are going to compete for it."

And being on TV is another bonus for Booth. "Yeah, it's really exciting for the sport, women's rugby and for the growth of the game. 

"I've seen the sport come from lows to really breaking through. So I'm excited to showcase that and my game."

Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers is on Sky Sports from 7.30pm.