Cumbrian rugby union international Cath O'Donnell was described as "world class" after agreeing a new deal with her club.

O'Donnell has signed extended terms with Loughborough Lightning which keeps her at the club beyond the current campaign.

It prolongs her stay at the club she joined in 2017, a period during which she has become a regular on the England scene.

Loughborough head coach Nathan Smith said of the 27-year-old from Maryport: “I have been really impressed with Cath since I have come into the club.

"She is a hard-working, dedicated professional, who is one of the cornerstones of our pack, and I am delighted that she has re-signed and that she believes in the project moving forward.

“She is a world-class lock and is very good in the tight play.

"She is a great person to have in the group, she works hard in training, she is prepared and diligent. We are really lucky to have her in the environment.”

Carlisle-born O'Donnell has 30 England caps and was recently named in the Red Roses training squad ahead of the Six Nations.

She was joined back in the international squad by Keswick's Abbie Ward, six months after Ward gave birth to her daughter Hallie.

At club level she has scored 16 tries in 54 Loughborough Lightning appearances. 

“I feel like I’m in a really good place,” said O’Donnell on the club's website.

“I’m happy, enjoying it, but there are still things I want to achieve.

“This season has been a really exciting one and the progress we have made is on a different level.

“We have been going from strength to strength week-in, week-out, and the reason I have signed is because I want to see where we can go next.

“The club also looks after me really well and that helps me stay at the top of my game.”